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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1367


Mrs PRENTICE (RyanAssistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services) (15:50): It is a concern. The people of Australia are under threat. They are under threat from an opposition with no plan. They under threat from an opposition and a Leader of the Opposition who use scare tactics on the most vulnerable people in our community. They stop at nothing to play politics with those in need.

The Leader of the Opposition is an expert at spruiking the spin, but he never has a plan. He never has a real solution and he never has the support, whilst we come up with actions to deliver for families, for working Australians and for those with disability in our community. If the Leader of the Opposition had any true reason to support the people who need it most he would support the current legislation in this parliament. He would support our plan for child-care reforms which will assist more than one million Australian families and make child care more affordable, more flexible and more accessible for people who need it most. These reforms will provide better futures for our children and positive relief where it hits families the most: the back pocket.

That is the point: if we want to support families in Australia today, we need to help them with the rising cost of power, and yet those on the other side support reintroducing a carbon tax. They support 50 per cent renewables. They do not care about the cost of power, about the cost of energy for the people who need to pay it—the families.

Ms Keay interjecting

Mrs PRENTICE: I take that interjection. You are saying, 'Give them a supplement.' Where from? Where are you going to find the supplements to supplement and compensate people for another spectacular carbon tax like your last one?

Ms Keay interjecting

Mrs PRENTICE: Yes, bring up more taxes. That is the way to solve your problems. That is because you support the Greens who want to introduce taxes or do you have a magic pudding where you just keep spending money three times over? That is the problem with those opposite: they really do not understand basic economics. They do not understand that you cannot use the same money three times over. They do not understand that, when Wayne Swan says he has delivered a surplus, he has not.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Coulton ): The assistant minister will use members' correct titles.

Mrs PRENTICE: Sorry. I do apologise. They do not understand. The former Treasurer, the member for Lilley, Mr Swan, said he delivered a surplus. In fact, those on the opposite side were so excited they printed brochures declaring they had delivered a surplus, but sadly they had not. Even their forward estimates, which indicated a surplus, from where they were going to take money to pay for the NDIS, resulted in an $18 billion deficit. That is a bit of a difference from a surplus. That is the problem with the economic and fiscal irresponsibility on the other side of this chamber.

The coalition does have a plan. The other plan we have that is in legislation in front of this parliament today is to support the mothers who get no paid parental leave at the moment. They are the people they should be caring about—the thousands of mothers or would-be mothers out there who do not get any paid parental leave at all, and yet they are blocking that legislation. They are stopping the most needy in our community from getting any support at all. They should be ashamed of the lack of support for women and for mothers and for families in this community.

The NDIS is indeed a life-changing program.

Mr Gosling: A Labor reform.

Mrs PRENTICE: And it is. As I said, the Labor Party—great architects, very bad at delivering. In fact, incapable of delivering. Everything they do—pink batts; you name it. They are incapable of delivering these programs. And, once again, they are not delivering the funding so that we can roll out NDIS to everyone. So how can we ever trust the hypocrites who present to the common man yet again and fail to provide for the future by imposing debt? They impose debt on families, they impose debt on the working person and they impose their lack of funding on the working families of Australia and the most vulnerable in our community. Even the Leader of the Opposition in his speech once again brought up that wonderful 'Mediscare' campaign that they dared to inflict on our community. As the Prime Minister says, the problem with socialists is they soon run out of other people's money. (Time expired)

The DEPUTY SPEAKER : Before I call the member for Longman, I might remind members that the MPI is not a team sport. I now call the member for Longman.