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Tuesday, 20 June 2000
Page: 17705

Mr LLOYD (6:01 PM) —I at least had the decency and courtesy to listen in quiet whilst the opposition gave a continuation of their scare campaign that has been taken around New South Wales. I am very angry about that scare campaign. I am very angry about the fact that Labor members have toured New South Wales stirring up fear and scaring members of the community, particularly elderly members of the community, with unsubstantiated facts, figures that are not true and misinformation. I sit here and I look at members opposite laughing and joking and making political threats, saying, `You'll never get re-elected in Robertson.' This is not about cheap politics. This is not about worrying about your seat. This is about caring for people who may be disadvantaged and who are living in mobile home parks, and it is about giving the right information to these people so that they understand.

I have had dozens of phone calls to my office from people who are scared and worried, from elderly people who say that they are worried that they may not even be able to afford to eat. This is a result of the scare campaign that Labor has put out continuously over this. Every single time that I sit down with those people and I go through their facts and figures and their financial state with them, I can prove to them that they will be better off living in a mobile home park under this system. You have only got to go through the facts and figures; you have only to show them that in most cases they will get a seven per cent increase in their rental subsidy and they will get a four per cent increase in their pension. If they are earning income, they will get tax cuts that will help them. Labor do not worry about the facts at all. All they want to do is go out there and use members of their party to increase the crowd to try to make out that they care, but the reality is that they do not. Like all of us, the members opposite are on high incomes, but on that side they masquerade as friends of the battlers. They are not friends of the battlers. Any member of a party that will go throughout New South Wales and Australia deliberately scaring battlers and pensioners is not a friend of the battlers, I can assure you of that.

There has been a lot of misinformation not only from the Labor Party but also in the media. I want to go through an article that was in the Daily Telegraph yesterday which featured a constituent of mine. I want to show you how figures can be misused and how wrong figures can be used. This article claimed that a particular lady would be $2.44 a week worse off, but if you go through the figures there are some anomalies. Firstly, it quotes her pension as $169.05, but that is not the full amount of the pension. Either this lady has income which is not mentioned or the paper has misquoted the figure. The pension is normally $186 per week. The rent is listed as $91—that is correct for the park that she is living in at the moment—but the paper has put the rent up by a full 10 per cent, $9.10, to $100.10. I can inform the House today that I have written proof that this lady was advised on 1 May that her rent, including GST, will be $95 a week—not $100.10. That is $5 a week less than was quoted. It might not be much to the members opposite, but $5 a week to these people is a lot of money and it is very important to them. And that is the whole point of this argument. This article is totally wrong. Even if you accept the figures provided here, instead of this lady being $2.44 a week out of pocket, she will in fact be $2.66 better off. It just goes to show how misinformation can be used to scare people.

Labor say `No GST', but the reason that this has been introduced is to enable the parks to keep their costs down. It gives them a mechanism to keep costs down for the residents of these parks. In my own electorate, I have worked closely with not only the residents but the park owners. In my electorate, the maximum increase in rent for any of the relocatable homes is four per cent; for many of them it is two or three per cent.

Mr Albanese —You will regret that statement.

Mrs Gash —Another threat.

Mr LLOYD —Another threat from the Labor Party, because they have no policies. All they want to do is to use threats and to try to say that they care about people. But they do not, and they have no policies. If their amendment were to go through, it would cause turmoil within the industry. It would increase costs. These people that they are supposed to care about would be worse off under any amendments that go through. It is very easy to play cheap politics on this. Every one of the members on the other side of the chamber at the moment is laughing their head off because they think this is an easy hit for them. It is cheap politics. That is what they want to play with. But it is not a matter of cheap politics; it is a matter of getting policy right. It is a matter of being part of a government that has got the guts to put the right things in place that help people. This is what this tax reform is all about. This is what the compensation package is all about. I do not remember a Labor government ever offering any compensation to any battler or to any pensioner, ever. They just want to keep increasing wholesale sales taxes and taxes across the board. What about the promised tax cuts that were never delivered? There was never any compensation whatsoever from the Labor government. They sit there in opposition and say they are born again, that they care about people. It is untrue, and I can tell the people of Australia never to trust the Labor Party.

You cannot even trust them when they set up photos in the newspaper with half the people in the paper being Labor candidates or Labor members. They mentioned the meeting they had in my electorate. The first thing the chairman of the meeting got up to say was, `I would like to thank so many of you here. I know many of you have travelled a great distance to be here today.' Fantastic. They had to bus them in to get a good crowd there. There were a lot of people from my electorate there. A lot of those people were from my electorate and a lot of them were very concerned and very scared. That was because of the misinformation from the Labor Party. We were able to give them the information that they wanted, to show them that they would not be worse off, and that is exactly what they wanted to hear. It was a good meeting and it was constructive for the people of my electorate.

Mr Albanese —They booed you.

Mr LLOYD —Just another example of how the Labor Party will use anyone to get in there. I was taking questions from the crowd. A gentleman stood up and said, `We've got to do something about this. Why don't we picket Jim Lloyd's office?' I listened to this gentleman and then I got up and said, `I am sure you know where my office is.' That gentleman was Frank Walker's senior adviser, his electorate officer while Frank Walker was the member for Robertson, but he did not bother to identify himself to the crowd and did not bother to say that he was a Labor Party activist. That is exactly the type of action that you have and that is the sort of policy that they have of using rent-a-crowd.

This has been an outrageous campaign by the Labor Party. I can assure you, Mr Deputy Speaker, that once this tax reform policy is in place, once people get to experience it, once they see the benefits of it, they will support it. The Labor Party is a hollow party. It has hollow promises and it has no policies and no direction. I can assure you that as a government we will be supported by the people of Australia because we are doing what is right. We are doing what is tough. It is hard in government. We are making the right decisions. This country is going forward. We are looking after the people in this country, including the battlers and including the people who do live in mobile home parks, who live there by choice as a lifestyle or who are forced to live there because that is all the accommodation they can afford. We are looking after them. This policy provides compensation for them and is the right thing to do. (Time expired)

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Jenkins)—Order! The discussion is now concluded.