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- Start of Business
- MINISTERIAL ARRANGEMENTS
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
(Beazley, Kim, MP, Howard, John, MP)
Reconciliation: Indigenous Australians
(Stone, Sharman, MP, Howard, John, MP)
Taxation: Interest Rates
(Evans, Gareth, MP, Howard, John, MP)
(Draper, Trish, MP, Fahey, John, MP)
(O'Connor, Gavan, MP, Howard, John, MP)
Skase, Mr Christopher
(Jull, David, MP, Downer, Alexander, MP)
Taxation: Child-Care Costs
(Wilton, Greg, MP, Smith, Warwick, MP)
(Gash, Joanna, MP, Reith, Peter, MP)
Pay Television: Australis
(Rocher, Allan, MP, Smith, Warwick, MP)
(Bailey, Fran, MP, Kemp, Dr David, MP)
(Macklin, Jenny, MP, Howard, John, MP)
Secondary Boycotts: Waterfront
(Randall, Don, MP, Reith, Peter, MP)
Taxation: Entertainment Costs
(McMullan, Bob, MP, Smith, Warwick, MP)
Taxation: Land Transport
(Marek, Paul, MP, Vaile, Mark, MP)
(Beazley, Kim, MP, Howard, John, MP)
Commonwealth State Disability Agreement
(Billson, Bruce, MP, Smith, Warwick, MP)
Public Hospital Funding
(Lee, Michael, MP, Howard, John, MP)
(Forrest, John, MP, Fischer, Tim, MP)
One Nation Party
(Beazley, Kim, MP, Fischer, Tim, MP)
(Andrews, Kevin, MP, Howard, John, MP)
- PERSONAL EXPLANATIONS
QUESTIONS TO MR SPEAKER
National Reconciliation Week
(Stone, Sharman, MP, Mr SPEAKER)
Flags in the Chamber
(Melham, Daryl, MP, Mr SPEAKER)
(Price, Roger, MP, Mr SPEAKER)
(Morris, Allan, MP, Mr SPEAKER)
(Morris, Allan, MP, Mr SPEAKER)
(Causley, Ian, MP, Mr SPEAKER)
- National Reconciliation Week
- NATIONAL SORRY DAY
- MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
- SOCIAL SECURITY LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (YOUTH ALLOWANCE CONSEQUENTIAL AND RELATED MEASURES) BILL 1998
- MATTERS REFERRED TO MAIN COMMITTEE
- APPROPRIATION BILL (No. 1) 1998-99
QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
(McClelland, Robert, MP, Downer, Alexander, MP)
Higher Education: Studies
(Latham, Mark, MP, Kemp, Dr David, MP)
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Grants
(Ferguson, Martin, MP, Downer, Alexander, MP)
Superannuation Benefits: Emigrants
(Thomson, Kelvin, MP, Costello, Peter, MP)
Overseas Australian Missions
(Crosio, Janice, MP, Downer, Alexander, MP)
Natural Heritage Trust: Funding Applications
(Crosio, Janice, MP, Anderson, John, MP)
(Kerr, Duncan, MP, Smith, Warwick, MP)
Robinson, Mr Floyd
(Campbell, Graeme, MP, Williams, Daryl, MP)
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Labour Hire Firms
(McMullan, Bob, MP, Downer, Alexander, MP)
Department of the Environment: Labour Hire Firms
(McMullan, Bob, MP, Anderson, John, MP)
Attorney-General's Department: Labour Hire Firms
(McMullan, Bob, MP, Williams, Daryl, MP)
Department of Veterans' Affairs: Labour Hire Firms
(McMullan, Bob, MP, Scott, Bruce, MP)
Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict
(Jones, Barry, MP, Downer, Alexander, MP)
Protocol for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict
(Jones, Barry, MP, Williams, Daryl, MP)
Air Charter Programs
(Tanner, Lindsay, MP, Vaile, Mark, MP)
Telstra: Public Telephones
(Jones, Barry, MP, Smith, Warwick, MP)
Family Court: Newcastle, New South Wales
(Morris, Allan, MP, Williams, Daryl, MP)
Cairns Migrant Resource Centre: Funding
(Ferguson, Martin, MP, Ruddock, Philip, MP)
(Bevis, Arch, MP, McLachlan, Ian, MP)
Wool Containers: Land Transport Costs
(Morris, Peter, MP, Vaile, Mark, MP)
Tuesday, 26 May 1998
Miss JACKIE KELLY (8:06 PM) —I rise with great delight tonight to support Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 1998-99 . For me, it is the cherry on top of a very successful first term of a government that is here for the long-term, bringing stability of government. We will see ourselves emerging through the crises in our region with a stronger domestic economy and with competition through South America, South Africa and the Middle East. We will diversify into a range of markets across the world and take our place, once again, in the top 10 nations of the world, which is where Australia should be. I entered politics to see our great nation in that position.
In my time representing Lindsay, short though it has been, we have seen a number of tremendous improvements delivered by this government. We have seen unemployment rates dropping to 7.1 per cent, well below the national average. We have commenced the operation of a backyard cafe for youth in our area, to provide a supervised area in which to hang, under a blanket umbrella of Fusion, which gives them some really good values to guide them through difficult times in their lives. We have seen the successful restart of the Penrith Kitchen, which is a place where people who are hungry can get a meal at lunchtime five days a week, with no questions asked. That is a valuable service which has been lacking in western Sydney.
We have seen the Claremont Meadows Primary School finally up and operational—$3.3 million went to that school. I remember the former member for Badgerys Creek, Anne Cohen, campaigning long and hard to see that achieved. Finally, the fruits of her labour came through with this government. We saw Glenmore Park High School given $5.5 million to start operations there. The Nepean District Christian School was given assistance with extensions to their school and we saw the dumping of the new schools policy, which was roundly applauded by a lot of the independent schools in my area where low income earners send their children.
Youth unemployment is trending down. We have seen the lowest interest rates since man walked on the moon. We have seen the lowest inflation since the 1970s and the lowest unemployment for nearly eight years. We have seen government debt reduced by $31 billion—from a debt of $96 billion. We have done all this with three budgets, and this is the key thing for my constituents. We have managed to achieve all of this surplus, with safety and security from the Asian crisis, with no increase in income tax, no increase in company tax, no increase in wholesale sales tax and no increase in petrol tax. I am very proud of my government for achieving that.
An obvious comparison is the state government in New South Wales where Bob Carr is continually increasing petrol tax, land tax and pokies tax. He is having to tax the people of New South Wales more and more because he cannot stay within his budget. He cannot spend only what he is currently taking in. He always overspends and consequently has to sell assets in order to cover his deficits, or he raises taxes. People in my area have been hit very hard by that. The average resident in Lindsay would spend $36 each week for a tank of fuel. Averaged out across 50,000 residents, that is $5 per tank, $250,000 per week or $12 million per year. We have seen none of those taxes spent on the roads in western Sydney. Clearly, that state policy needs to be looked at. We will be looking to Bob Carr to give us our fair share of that money.
We have seen increased funding to hospitals in New South Wales, yet they want more. The state government has been unable to reduce hospital waiting lists, as they promised, and they come back and say that it is a federal government problem. We have given them money, we have given them the means to do it, but still western Sydney gets half the dollars per capita that inner city residents get.
Further evidence of Bob Carr's Sydneyccentricity is the fact that he is seeking $200 million to tear down an apparently ugly building near the Opera House which has been nicknamed `the toaster'; whereas in western Sydney he will not spend $200 million to raise the dam wall and reduce the danger of flooding. Instead, we are sent glossy little brochures telling us how to live in a flood plain. It is not the type of treatment that people in western Sydney deserve. It is not the type of treatment that the federal Liberal government has given them during our term in office. I certainly would like to see that changed around on a state basis as well.
Lindsay predominantly has families which are raising young children, sending them off to school and paying a mortgage. For example, a family with one breadwinner earning $40,000 a year and with two children one of whom is under five will be advantaged by about $900 a year in the Howard government's family tax initiative. If they have private health insurance, they will be eligible for a maximum private health insurance rebate of $450 a year. They will be able to take advantage of the savings rebate of $450 a year. They will be able to receive the rebate for spouse superannuation contributions of up to a maximum of $540 a year. In addition to that, if they have a mortgage of $100,000, the reductions in interest rates which the government has brought about will mean a saving of about $3,800 a year. All of that totals $6,140 a year for the average family in Lindsay.
We are better off because of the efforts of this government. As has been pointed out by the Prime Minister on numerous occasions, and by our Treasurer (Mr Costello), the people of Lindsay are up to $6,000 better of because the policies of this government have focused on mainstream issues and not been diverted by one-issue wonders and throwing money away chasing votes. We have stuck to mainstream issues. We have delivered on unemployment, health, education and on issues of concern to people in my electorate. No matter what their union membership, ethnicity or sex, we have delivered for the people of Lindsay.
We have seen the opposition try to make a big thing of child care in my area—a very important issue. There are 27 private child-care providers in Lindsay who have been unaffected by the cuts to the operational subsidy—in effect, an unfair subsidy given to council centres which enabled them to compete against the private centres on an unlevel playing field.
The private sector is up and running, and is very viable right across Australia. Seventy per cent of parents using long day care centres are utilising private centres. So it has been successful right across Australia, and it will be so in Lindsay—only we need a bit of foresight, a bit of consultation and a bit of application from Penrith City Council to see that these transitions are made and that, with regard to the money going back into parents' pockets, they have a greater choice as to where and how they spend it.
There are now 83,000 more child-care places available across Australia, and they are not just in long day care centres. We have got occasional care, ASHC and family day care centres. In fact, a family eligible for the maximum rate of child-care assistance would receive $107.50 a week for a child in a full-time place in a long day care centre. This represents $5,600 a year, or $12,300 a year for two children. That is the amount of child-care assistance that this government is giving families that seek child-care assistance. So it is available, and I think the misinformation scare campaign run by the opposition is indicative of their attitude right across the board when they do not have a policy or a platform. It is simply a case of `back to the future—2 March 1996'.
We have seen a backtracking on policy that does not take Australia forward; it shows absolutely no vision for this nation. We have delivered on a vision as to where we want to be. In one term, we have put Australia back on track, back in the black, to where we want to be. We are heading for a great new era of dynamic domestic growth, an era of competition not just in Asia but throughout all the emerging markets in our region. We are seeing this done with no increases in tax, and with being able to stay within our expenditure.
This bill is further evidence of the government's commitment to the people of Australia, a commitment to make this a great nation and to take us out of the very dark era of 13 years of Labor, when we had `a recession we had to have', and when we had small business being told, `This is as good as it gets.' It is now pretty, pretty good, and it is going to get better. I commend the bill to the House.