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Thursday, 15 May 2014
Page: 3998


Mr BROADBENT (McMillan) (11:37): I do not think I can add to the marvellous addresses I have heard in the last few minutes in this chamber. Firstly I would like to identify with the member for Sydney in her identification with the young girls stolen by Boko Haram and the worldwide program to bring the girls home. I would like to identify with that and I know this parliament identifies with it.

Secondly, I was saddened to hear in the member for Shortland's address about the difficulties and illness that her sister is facing, and then to hear that the GP charge will directly affect her sister, as a pensioner. I say to her that after 10 consultations she will not pay another cent under that program. It is sad to hear that people around us or close to us are ill and we always identify with our colleagues and their concerns. But we must as a community pull together on all the difficult issues that we face as a nation, and some of them are economic.

I heard the member for Moreton in the main parliamentary chamber today say he does not represent economic communities; he represents communities. I think we all do that. That is why we needed to take harsh measures, difficult measures, in our budgetary process so we are able to deliver services and benefits to the generations—not just this generation but the generation coming and their children as well.

How can I go to the Prime Minister or the cabinet as the member for McMillan and say, 'I want a new hospital for Warragul'? The Leongatha bypass was just approved. 'I want money for the Long Jetty restoration at Port Welshpool. I want the West Gippsland round ball football stadium regional hub at Pakenham.' We have just okayed today the revitalisation precinct at Moe. The Korumburra early childhood community centre is crying out for money.

Prom Country Aged Care opened up a magnificent facility with money supplied by Labor government into my electorate—I think to get rid of me at the time, but it was supplied—and I recognise that. On the very opening-day, they said to me, 'We have a waiting list. We have a three tiered waiting list of people that want to use this amazing, fantastic facility.' It is a beautiful new aged-care facility supplied by the government of this nation. How can we do it? How can we address the issues the member for Sydney raised in regard to our aid—supporting women across the world and bringing them up out of poverty? How can we do that if we do not get our own finances in order?

No-one is to blame and I am not here to blame. But I am here to say if, as a nation, we can pull together at this time and put our finances in order with a view to being able to deliver better services and greater opportunities in education, we not only put ourselves in a position where we can increase our international aid but we can increase the money we put towards education, we can help our single parent families and can make some real changes to the way the nation sees itself. That is where I see myself today.

There will always be issues within our community that are going to be hard for politicians such as ourselves to address. Politicians, if you do not know it today, are not exactly in the public favour—and that is a nice way to put it. I have seen the emails that came to us. I say to them, 'I cannot go to my leadership and ask for these very valuable projects right across my electorate that will change the life and opportunity in my electorate for people if we cannot get our house in order.' So I ask you all to bear with us while we put our financial house in order so I can have a new West Gippsland hospital. Every member of parliament would love to leave some legacy for the generations to follow, and this hospital is very important to me and to the future of our broader community.