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- Start of Business
- FAIRER PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE INCENTIVES BILL 2009
- FAIRER PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE INCENTIVES (MEDICARE LEVY SURCHARGE) BILL 2009
- FAIRER PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE INCENTIVES (MEDICARE LEVY SURCHARGE—FRINGE BENEFITS) BILL 2009
- FAIR WORK (STATE REFERRAL AND CONSEQUENTIAL AND OTHER AMENDMENTS) BILL 2009
- GUARANTEE OF STATE AND TERRITORY BORROWING APPROPRIATION BILL 2009
- TAX LAWS AMENDMENT (2009 BUDGET MEASURES NO. 1) BILL 2009
- COORDINATOR-GENERAL FOR REMOTE INDIGENOUS SERVICES BILL 2009
- SOCIAL SECURITY LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (IMPROVED SUPPORT FOR CARERS) (CONSEQUENTIAL AND TRANSITIONAL) BILL 2009
- MIGRATION AMENDMENT (PROTECTION OF IDENTIFYING INFORMATION) BILL 2009
- TAX LAWS AMENDMENT (2009 MEASURES NO. 2) BILL 2009
- FINANCIAL SECTOR LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (ENHANCING SUPERVISION AND ENFORCEMENT) BILL 2009
- HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPORT AMENDMENT (VET FEE-HELP AND PROVIDERS) BILL 2009
- MINISTERIAL ARRANGEMENTS
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
- DISTINGUISHED VISITORS
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
- DISTINGUISHED VISITORS
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
- PRIME MINISTER AND TREASURER
- AUNG SAN SUU KYI
- PERSONAL EXPLANATIONS
- AUDITOR-GENERAL’S REPORTS
- MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS
- MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
- HEALTH WORKFORCE AUSTRALIA BILL 2009
- THERAPEUTIC GOODS AMENDMENT (MEDICAL DEVICES AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2008 
- TAX LAWS AMENDMENT (2009 MEASURES NO. 3) BILL 2009
- HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPORT AMENDMENT (VET FEE-HELP AND PROVIDERS) BILL 2009
- CAR DEALERSHIP FINANCING GUARANTEE APPROPRIATION BILL 2009
- Start of Business
- Sir Donald Eckersley
- Bennelong Electorate: Consumer Confidence
- Tangney Electorate: Internet Access
- Deakin Electorate: Ringwood Soccer and Multipurpose Sports Pavilion
- Indi Electorate: General Practice
- Dobell Electorate: Proposed Coalmine
- Swan Electorate: Belmont Medicare Office
- Forde Electorate: Rivermount College
- Workplace Relations
- Sri Lanka
APPROPRIATION BILL (NO. 1) 2009-2010
APPROPRIATION BILL (NO. 2) 2009-2010
APPROPRIATION (PARLIAMENTARY DEPARTMENTS) BILL (NO. 1) 2009-2010
- Baldwin, Robert, MP
- Bevis, Arch, MP
- Jensen, Dennis, MP
- Rishworth, Amanda, MP
- Secker, Patrick, MP
- Sullivan, Jon, MP
- Simpkins, Luke, MP
- Livermore, Kirsten, MP
- Stone, Dr Sharman, MP
- Jackson, Sharryn, MP
- Moylan, Judi, MP
- Bradbury, David, MP
- Schultz, Alby, MP
- Parke, Melissa, MP
- Pyne, Chris, MP
- Sidebottom, Sid, MP
- Southcott, Dr Andrew, MP
- Marles, Richard, MP
- Second Reading
- QUESTIONS IN WRITING
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Ms JACKSON (4:40 PM) —I rise this afternoon to speak in support of Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2009-2010 and Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2009-2010 and, indeed, the budget—a budget which is about nation building for recovery. This budget is outstanding in the sense that it invests in nation-building infrastructure like rail, road, ports, clean energy, schools, hospitals and universities—all infrastructure for the future. It delivers a fair go as well to pensioners and a sustainable pensions system, it charts a course for recovery back to surplus and, importantly to me, it delivers on the commitment for paid parental leave. Our budget supports jobs now and delivers the investment needed to strengthen the economy for the future.
We should not forget the context in which this budget has been framed. We are experiencing the deepest global recession since the Great Depression. I am proud that nearly 70 per cent of the stimulus is about investing in infrastructure. I say that we should not forget the context in which the budget is being cast, because it seems to me from comments, many of them made by members of the opposition, that they fail to understand, accept or even remember that we are in the greatest global recession we have witnessed since the Great Depression.
My own electorate of Hasluck has done exceedingly well out of the budget. Not only have I had pleased reports from pensioners throughout my electorate but I can proudly say that I have visited many of my 70-odd schools who have been the beneficiaries of funding, both under the Building the Education Revolution funding as well as the National School Pride program. I am also a lucky that I have had substantial investments through my local governments and local government infrastructure. I am very pleased to see the additional funding for the Swan River Regional Park, which will be an absolutely iconic 100 hectares at the gateway to the Swan Valley—the traditional meeting place of all of the Noongar tribes in the state of Western Australia, on the banks of Derbal Yerrigan, which will become a magnificent ecotourism area for visitors to the Swan region. I am pleased that a team of very enthusiastic young Indigenous trainees are already working in the park and developing the interpretive pathways and signage.
The other substantial funding in my electorate goes to the creation of the Kalamunda cultural centre, which will also be a significant added resource to the Hills community. It will provide a home for the tourism association as well as a display for the wines that are created in my electorate, just east of the Perth Hills. I could not possibly speak on the budget without also mentioning the absolutely magnificent investment of $180.1 million towards the midland health campus in the City of Swan—fantastic funding which, frankly, rescued the future of the hospital in Midland.
I could talk for hours about some of the funding that has been received from the nation-building program I talked about, especially for roads. In particular, there is the planned upgrade to the Great Eastern Highway-Roe Highway interchange, which has been a traffic hazard in my electorate for many years. There is also substantial funding for the Perth urban transport and freight corridor going through my electorate, which supports entry roads coming not only from the east but also the north. It is important to be able to see that freight moved in a sensible and safe fashion. There will be additional Roads to Recovery funding for each of the five local councils that are either in the electorate of Hasluck or border the edges of the electorate of Hasluck, and especially there is additional Black Spots program funding for a number of roads in my electorate. Most pleasing is to hear of the money for Welshpool Road East in Lesmurdie, where we have had some five fatalities in the last two years. I am glad to see that investment being made in hopefully making that intersection and that stretch of road safer.
I have talked about the expansion that will occur with the Midland health campus. That campus was originally part of a hospitals review and reform process in Western Australia, initiated by the then Western Australian state Labor government. In recent days and months we had become increasingly concerned by the media comments of Kim Hames, the now Deputy Premier and state Liberal Minister for Health and Indigenous Affairs in Western Australia, who had indicated that there was likely to be a substantial delay in the construction of the Midland health campus. He said he also believed that there would be a shortfall of some $100 million and, as a consequence of that, he had decided that he would delay the development of the Midland health campus. That would have been a great tragedy for my constituents and for the eastern suburbs of Perth more generally, and also for the surrounding regional areas. The hospital plays a crucial role but at the moment is only able to treat 35 per cent of patients in the area. It cannot deal with patients suffering acute problems, and there was substantial disappointment in the local area that the project would be delayed. Indeed, on the day of the release of the federal budget my local paper, the Midland-Kalamunda Reporter, published their concern that the Midland health campus had, as the headline read, ‘one foot in the grave’. It reported on the fact that the state Liberal government was backing away from the commitment for the Midland health campus to proceed. You can imagine my pleasure a week later with the newspaper headlines about the campus lifeline and the delightful picture of the Treasurer pulling the casket of the Midland health campus out of the grave. This is an announcement that has been exceedingly well received by people in the eastern suburbs and in Midland more generally. The $180.1 million funding boost will ensure that the health campus can now be built on time and we should be enjoying the opening of the Midland health campus in 2013. Frankly, there is now no reason that the state health minister can point to, to say why the Midland health campus should not proceed on time.
It has been a bit disappointing in my local electorate to have to confront some of the comments from members opposite about not only the budget but in particular the Nation Building and Jobs Plan. Generally, it is a fairly dishonest scare campaign about debt and deficit. Only recently, for example, Senator Judith Adams put out a press release, on 21 May, accusing us of ignoring aged care in the electorate of Hasluck. Amongst other things, she said that in her view the government had completely ignored the industry of aged and community care and that instead of investing in the aged-care needs of our ageing population the government believed it was not a priority, and indeed it was suggested that aged-care providers had been completely excluded from accessing any of the funding under the economic stimulus package. Clearly that is simply not true, and the senator should stick to the facts.
It is quite cheeky for someone who was part of a government that, it could be said, had no plans for the future. It certainly had no plans for older Australians and no plan to deal with our ageing population other than to prepare reports. It certainly had no plans for pension reform despite nearly 12 years in government. As I have pointed out to the senator, we have increased funding for aged and community care service providers to a record level of $44 billion. In Hasluck, the Rudd government has increased aged and community care funding this year, and to that end there are a number of measures in the 2009-10 budget.
Senator Adams seems to be doing what most other members, at least federal members, of the Western Australian Liberal Party are doing—that is, completely ignoring the global recession and the reasons why the government has taken the path it has and gone into debt. Instead, they are concentrating on a more short-term political interest agenda rather than the national interest. She knows that the deficit has been caused by the global recession, the reduction in government revenues and the end of the mining boom. If the Liberals were in government, they would have no choice but to borrow and go into deficit.
Interestingly enough, this is not the attitude of the Western Australian state Liberal government. I was very pleased to be involved in a joint announcement with the Minister for Education and Tourism in Western Australia, Elizabeth Constable, on 5 April this year at the lovely Helena Valley Primary School about the National School Pride Program and the investment in Western Australia. The education minister, the Hon. Liz Constable, said in her media release of 5 April that she ‘welcomed the federal government’s commitment to spend $46.47 million on minor infrastructure and refurbishment projects in 330 schools in Western Australia’.
It does not end there. Troy Buswell, the state Treasurer, a reasonably famous or infamous political figure, put out a media release on Wednesday, 15 April—he is, amongst other things, the Minister for Housing and Works—which had the headline, ‘Tenders out for $100 million of maintenance and minor works in WA schools’. In the body of the media release it said:
Treasurer Troy Buswell … announced that tenders were now open for the National School Pride Program, the first stage of the Commonwealth’s ‘Building the Education Revolution’ program, which was welcomed earlier this month by Education Minister Liz Constable.
He goes on in the press release:
Apart from providing much-needed improvements to many schools, the National School Pride Program will provide many opportunities for businesses of all sizes to tender for works.
He goes on, towards the end of his media release, to say:
The Commonwealth’s ‘Building the Education Revolution’ (BER) program would see more than $1billion invested in maintenance and new capital works for almost 800 Western Australian public schools within the next two years
The tender released today listed 594 schools, with a further 195 schools to be added by the end of the month.
What Minister Troy Buswell has certainly cottoned onto, even though his colleagues in the federal parliamentary Liberal Party have failed to, is that this budget and the economic stimulus package are about jobs. He said in another media release on Friday 24 April 2009:
As part of our involvement in the ‘Building the Education Revolution’ program, the State Government is asking construction industry training organisations to submit lists of apprentices that have been unemployed, are under-employed or face the prospect of unemployment due to the current downturn in the economy.
We will provide opportunities for at least 80 additional building trade apprentice positions, including at least 60 in the metropolitan area and a further 20 in the regions.
The ‘Building the Education Revolution’ program forms a key part of the Commonwealth’s Nation Building - Economic Stimulus Plan and involves the rapid construction and refurbishment of school infrastructure.
Indeed, on their budget day on Thursday 14 May, the education minister, Liz Constable, launched what she described as ‘the most comprehensive public schools asset improvement program in the state’s history’. It was some $1.066 billion which would be spent on improving school assets. She says in her media release:
This includes Federal Government funding of $666million from the Building the Education Revolution infrastructure program, with projects due for completion in 2011.
Of course it is not just about the Building the Education Revolution and the National School Pride program, it is also about the social housing program, which the housing and works minister, Troy Buswell, boasted about in a gleeful media release dated 8 April 2009 and titled ‘Social housing boost for Western Australia’. In a joint announcement with Senator Mark Arbib, he said:
… work would begin on the first phase of construction of 2,000 new social houses in WA under a joint State-Federal initiative.
He goes on to say in his media release:
Creating these new homes will also provide a welcome boost to our local building industry.
To cap it all off was his own budget media release on Thursday, 14 May, where he said:
The Minister said the State had embraced the Federal Government’s Nation Building and Jobs Economic Stimulus Plan, to support economic growth and jobs.
“This represents an historic effort to collectively leverage State and private sector land holdings with Federal capital contributions,” he said.
“This will stimulate the local housing and construction industry, including the generation of many jobs in that sector, and significantly increase the supply of social housing—both through new construction and the refurbishment of run-down stock.
“Partnership between the State and Commonwealth will see at least 3,000 additional dwellings built throughout WA over the four years from 2008-09.
… … …
An initial $70 million has already been approved by the Federal Government for the immediate construction of 286 dwellings across the State, with the State Government contributing land worth $40 million
The Prime Minister accused members of the opposition of hypocrisy today. The point I am trying to make here is: I would be sorely tempted to be an observer at the WA Liberals’ state council meeting; I have listened and there is an obvious difference of opinion between the federal representatives in Western Australia, who are members of the Liberal Party, and what they say in the dishonest scare campaign they are running about deficit and debt, and their state colleagues who are responsible for running Western Australia. Their state colleagues are embracing the federal government’s economic stimulus package and congratulating the federal government on its investment because they know it is about creating and protecting jobs in the community and cushioning Australians against the worst impacts of the global financial crisis. Before we can honestly accept the comments of some of the representatives on that side—we already know that they come to Canberra and they vote against these packages, vote against the improvements in schools and vote against things like the Midland health campus in my community in Hasluck—they must know that there is support in the local community and there is an understanding of what the federal government’s budget agenda is all about. I commend the bills to the House.