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Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Page: 2277

Public Policy


Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright) (14:57): My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister explain why it's critical to adopt a consistent approach to public policy? And are there any alternative approaches?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:57): I thank the honourable member for his question. He's part of a government where every single policy is supporting jobs and growth, and we're delivering on jobs—403,000 last year. Every lever of policy is pulling in the direction of more economic growth, more jobs and better jobs. Australians know that—whether it is talking about the National Energy Guarantee, as the minister for energy spoke about, or our business tax cuts, as the Treasurer has spoken about, or our infrastructure investments, as the Deputy Prime Minister has talked about, or defence industry and the massive investments, as the minister has spoken about—everything is pulling in the same direction and we're seeing results. That's what you get with consistent policy.

The honourable member asks me about alternatives. I regret to say that we are seeing a shocking alternative at the moment, presented by the two-faced Leader of the Opposition. This is the man who only a few years ago said:

Cutting the company income tax rate increases domestic productivity and domestic investment. More capital means higher productivity and economic growth, and leads to more jobs and higher wages.

That's what he said then, but he's thrown all that out. And the member for McMahon, who still hankers after our economic common sense, said only a few weeks ago:

… when the Budget has returned to surplus then you can look at further tax reform for both personal and company tax.

But the greatest inconsistency that we've seen, the worst alternative we've seen, is the most recent. We go back to the middle of last year, when the Leader of the Opposition told Senator Hanson that he was pro-coal. Bill Shorten said to her face, she says, that he, the Leader of the Opposition, was pro-coal, unlike others within Labor. Then, on 6 October, standing shoulder to shoulder with the member for Gorton, spewing at the injustice, he said, 'We support you, we support you,' and Tony Maher from the CFMEU said, 'Bill Shorten is very pro coalmining.' And now we know. Now he has a little deal, a little secret deal with Geoff Cousins, who also has a connection to the NBN, I'm sure—he's just around the corner from me in Point Piper. Geoff Cousins spent thousands of dollars taking the Leader of the Opposition up to the Great Barrier Reef—snorkelling, charter flights; oh, it was a beautiful sight—and he gave an undertaking to Geoff Cousins. He said, 'When Labor is in government, if the evidence is as compelling as we presently believe it to be, we will revoke— (Time expired)