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Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Page: 13687

Ms HALL (ShortlandGovernment Whip) (19:46): As we draw towards the end of the parliamentary year I find myself reflecting on what has been achieved by the government over the last 12 months—or a little longer. I would have to say that I am really proud to be a member of the government that has delivered so much to the Australian people.

My first thoughts go to what has been delivered to all our students attending schools within my electorate. Shortland electorate is an area that had been neglected under the previous government. There had been minimal investment by the previous government—by that I mean the previous Howard government—in schools in my area, as with just about every other form of infrastructure or program. In Shortland electorate a very innovative program was undertaken on the Central Coast. Instead of one central Australian technical college, the technical college was devolved to the local high schools. That, along with trade training centres being put into those high schools and funded by the federal government, makes available to students attending those schools really high-quality vocational education which they can incorporate into their education.

There have been many more apprenticeships available to young people in my area, and they have benefited from the programs of this government. There has been increased funding for universities, and I would have to say that the computers in schools program has been very much welcomed by all the schools. The education tax refund is something that the parents of students attending schools in Shortland electorate have been thrilled to see implemented.

Compare that to what the opposition would do if they came to power—heaven forbid. They would abolish the trade training centres program, something that really benefits my students in very spread out areas. There would be fewer apprentices. They would fail to help reform and develop those disadvantaged schools—of which I have a number in my electorate—and schools that benefit from the National Partnership funding. They would abolish the computers in schools program, which has been very popular with the high schools in Shortland electorate.

The difference between this side of the House and the other side of the House is that one side delivers and one side says no and takes away from the community, delivering to its friends in big business as we saw last night in this House when the opposition voted no 32 times and no to delivering tax cuts to small businesses, more super for Australian workers and money for better roads and bridges. It really shows the difference.

Some of the other benefits that have flowed through the Shortland electorate include the $2 million Lake Macquarie City Council received from the federal government to build the stage of the Fernleigh Track from Redhead to Belmont. Prior to that they received funding to take the track from Whitebridge through to Redhead. The previous Howard government refused to give money to the council to complete this program.

One thing I forgot to mention was the excitement in my schools about the Building the Education Revolution Program, where each and every school has welcomed the money that has been spent on them by the federal government. Under the Labor government we have had a drop in unemployment within Shortland electorate. Overall, it has demonstrated that, if you want good economic management, if you want good programs, if you want paid parental leave, you vote for a Labor government. A Labor government delivers while the opposition, the Liberals, take away and say no. (Time expired)