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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1849


Mr HOWARTH (Petrie) (15:44): I'm really pleased to rise and speak on the appropriation bill. Infrastructure, schools, jobs, support for the vulnerable and relief from the rising cost of living are all key priorities that received a boost in the federal budget. Before the member for Sydney leaves the chamber, I'll add, in response to her comments, that there are no cuts to school funding.

Mr Husic: Rubbish!

Mr HOWARTH: There are no cuts to school funding, and the member opposite is being very dishonest in saying that there are. The quality schools package will deliver an extra $25.3 billion in recurrent funding for Australian schools over the next 10 years, on top of the 2016-17 budget settings. This will bring total Commonwealth recurrent funding to almost $250 billion over the 2018 to 2027 years. For the first time, real needs based funding will be provided and will grow from $17½ billion in 2017 to $31.1 billion in 2027. For the member for Sydney, that's an additional $13.6 billion that keeps going up and up and up every year.

In my own electorate of Petrie, what that means for schools like Aspley East State School is that right now, this year, they'll receive $2,383 per student, and in 2027 they'll receive over $3,500 per student. This is every year; it keeps going up. So it's $2,383, and next year it'll be higher, and the year after that it'll be higher again, and the year after that it'll be higher again. And the member for Sydney has the gall to come in here and say that it's a cut! Aspley Special School in my electorate, which receives $9,452 per student, will be receiving over $14,000 in 2027, and it goes up every year. I could go through all 45 schools in my electorate, because every single one of them receives an increase. Every single school receives an increase.

The member opposite fails to mention as well that in state schools 80 per cent of the funding comes from state governments. The Queensland government is providing 80 per cent of the funding to state schools, and we're doing 20 per cent. That goes up, and it matches their funding. In the private schools, the Queensland state government funds 20 per cent and we do 80 per cent. But every school will be better off, and it will continue to grow each year.

In addition, just last week two local schools in my electorate, Clontarf Beach State School and Humpybong State School—one of the oldest schools in my electorate, well over 100 years old—were successful in the Digital Literacy School Grants program and will receive almost $100,000 between the two of them, almost $50,000 each, as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, because we know how important NISA is for young students in my electorate and right around this country in relation to building jobs of the future.

In relation to universities, the member opposite continues to be dishonest and talk about $100,000 degrees. I'll say to everyone listening to this broadcast, and everyone listening in my electorate, that the federal government pays 60 per cent of all the costs. So if you have a degree costing $100,000, as the member for Sydney, the shadow minister, is saying, that means the federal government would be up for $60,000, and then $40,000 is HECS. So why would any government want the cost of a degree to continue to grow like that if it's paying 60 per cent of the cost? Her arguments don't stack up, they're flawed and she should be honest with the Australian people.

Just before we get off education, I'll mention, in relation to universities, that the member for Dickson and I have been able to deliver for the Moreton Bay region a lot of funding in relation to the University of the Sunshine Coast Moreton Bay campus, which will be opened in 2020. So every young person in the Petrie electorate, the Dickson electorate and the Longman electorate will be able to go to university in 2020 in Petrie, at the old Petrie paper mill. We've secured a $35 million grant to the council to help build the infrastructure, we've secured a $121 million low-interest loan to help the USC build the buildings and so forth, and we've also secured additional funding for student placements, which is very important as well.

In relation to health funding, funding was also increased more than ever before for hospitals, medicines and Medicare. Federal funding for public hospital services under the coalition has increased from $13.8 billion in 2013 to a record $22.7 billion in years to come, just in 2021. This means that funding is flowing to the state governments for more hospital services, more doctors and more nurses. This is very important for hospitals in and around my electorate of Petrie, like the Redcliffe Hospital, the Prince Charles Hospital and three other public hospitals that are funded by the Commonwealth through the Metro North Hospital and Health Service in Queensland. In 2016-17 the Commonwealth contributed $776.2 million to Metro North Hospital and Health Service in activity based funding, an increase for health of $119 million from the year before.

This just shows how the coalition government is increasing funding to schools and education and increasing funding for health and hospitals. How have we done that? We have a plan for jobs and growth, and those opposite don't. We heard the Treasurer in question time today talk about how the government is on track and delivering—16,000 jobs were added in January alone, bringing some 400,000 new jobs for the year in Australia. That's a record, for the benefit of those in the gallery, those in my electorate and those listening. That is an absolute record of 400,000 new jobs created in 12 months. Over 75 per cent were full time. Those opposite like to talk about casualisation, but 75 per cent of the jobs were full time. We have had 16 consecutive months of jobs growth—the longest run of jobs growth ever recorded. That's not just in the last five years or the last 10 years. It's the longest run ever recorded.

What did we say at the last election? What did Prime Minister Turnbull say at the last election? He said: 'Elect the coalition. Vote for the coalition. We have a plan for jobs and growth.' And we are delivering. It's because we had a plan. We had a plan around our free trade agreements. We had a plan around defence manufacturing. And we had a plan around business tax cuts. We know that reducing tax, in whatever sector you do it, flows to everyone in the community. We are seeing that through the jobs growth. There is the evidence for the Senate, the crossbench and those opposite. There is massive amounts of jobs growth in SMEs and in businesses in my electorate such as Kingswood Cabinets at Narangba, which has grown from two staff to some 50 now, or East Coast Bullbars in Clontarf in my electorate or Village Motors at North Lakes that has a turnover of some $80 million and employs hundreds of people. When I spoke to the owner there, Marlene Newton, she said that cutting company tax will help her employ more people. That's the evidence. That's a business that's turning over above $50 million. We need the parliament to let us continue on with our plan and go with tax cuts so we're not stuck on 30 per cent here in Australia when Indonesia, our nearest neighbour, is on 25 per cent, the US is on 21 per cent and over in the UK they're about to go to 17 per cent.

I want to see that happen so I can continue to fund local community groups in my electorate. I've been able to get record funding for them. If I talk about a few clubs and organisations in my electorate, tell me what they all have in common: the Patriots Moreton Bay motorcycle club in Redcliffe, the Lions Recycle for Sight, the Bracken Ridge scout hall, the Bald Hills scout hall, the Endeavour Foundation that is doing a great job for those who are disabled in my electorate, Encircle Redcliffe helping people with domestic violence, the Lighthouse Centre at Deception Bay, the Ridge Hills United Football Club that I've been asked to deliver for, the Deception Bay soccer club and the Aspley Memorial Bowls Club.

What do they all have in common? They've secured from the coalition government solar funding on every one of their buildings. Why that is an advantage to those clubs and community organisations is that we are lowering their costs. Each year their power bill—and we know power is expensive and it has gone up, particularly in Queensland—will come down because we have been able to install solar. We could not do that without our plan for jobs and growth. I say to the Senate: let us continue that plan. We took it to the last election. We've seen 12 months of evidence, with record jobs growth, with 16 consecutive months of growth. Let us continue that so that we can continue to fund clubs and organisations like that in my electorate, in the member for Mayo's electorate, the member for Sydney's electorate and the electorates of all members and senators in this place.

We've also been able to fund $4,290 for Moreton Media Group 99.7 FM to replace a new transmitter. That is great news for those guys. This morning I was talking to Colin Scobie, the chair of the board, who is looking to replace that transmitter, and I want to thank Ray and Tahlia, who are the managers, for the great job they are doing. I also want to talk about the Aspley Devils Rugby League Club, where I've been able to secure $80,000 to install a water harvesting system. I was talking to Julie from the club this morning who was saying that the 210,000 litre water harvesting system that they've been able to install due to this grant is now half full, because we had massive rain in Brisbane and Moreton Bay over last weekend.

Because of our plan for jobs and growth, we've been able to fund North Lakes Leopards Junior Rugby Union Club with $10,000 to go towards upgrades to their canteen, audio visual equipment and repairs to their fence. Thank you, Jarrod, and all the volunteers at that rugby union club for what you are doing. We secured $10,000 for upgrades to the fields of North Lakes Mustangs Football Club. Once again, thanks to the volunteers and all the players there. We have been able to fund these because of our plans for jobs and growth.

We've also been able to fund vital road infrastructure like the Rothwell roundabout. We were able to secure $11,7 million to make sure that the Rothwell roundabout becomes a signalised intersection. It's now completed. It's now delivered. We've also secured funding for $84 billion for the Boundary Road overpass, which is a new six-lane overpass crossing the highway. Why have we been able to fund it? Because of the coalition's plan for jobs and growth. The Boundary Road overpass is now a reality, helping the people of North Lakes and those businesses in the Narangba.

I've also got funding, secured in last year's budget, for the Deception Bay Interchange. So those people in Deception Bay: we're remembering you. We know that we need to look after your interchange as well. I've been able to secure $120 million for you. That work will start later this year when the Queensland Department of Main Roads awards the contract. I've been able to secure $4 million for Dolphin Stadium to upgrade the grandstands. We had an international tournament played there on the weekend. We were also able to secure $9 million for Telegraph Road stage 1B in Bracken Ridge—widening the lanes there. How do we do this? Because of our plan for jobs and growth. That's how we do it. So I say to the parliament, to the 150 members in this place: if you want to continue to see funding flow to your electorate, we need to be able to make sure that the government's income increases. We know that by reducing tax and stimulating investment, we'll continue to see more investment.

I've also been able to secure funding of $400,000 for Redcliffe Surf Life Saving Club; $450,00 for the Redcliffe Police and Citizens Youth Club; and $150,000 for the Bald Hills Memorial Hall, which I am opening this Saturday. I could go on, but I have run out of time. I'll talk more about it later, but I would ask the parliament to support our plan for jobs.