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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1375


Mr IRONS (Swan) (16:20): Before I get to the matter of public importance, I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Robyn McClelland on her retirement and wish her and Sam all the best. I know when you and I came into the parliament in 2007, Mr Deputy Speaker Coulton, the clerks were very helpful to us, and I also see the two clerks who are in the chamber now. We have enjoyed the highs and lows together as members of parliament and clerks, and I thank the clerks for the great job they do. All the best to the McClelland family on Robyn's retirement.

We heard the member for Shortland before talking about not being lectured by the Minister for Social Services, but I would like to go back over a little bit of history. I do not think that, as a government, we should be lectured by anyone from the other side of the House, particularly with the lack of economic credibility that they had in the six years that they were in government. We can mention a few things. We can talk about FuelWatch, we can talk about the Grocery Choice, or we can talk about the pink batts.

They talk about the biggest threat to families. Let's remember that the introduction of the pink batts scheme by those on that side of the House killed four people. Two hundred houses were burned down by a policy that was introduced by the Labor Party. They did it and they hid it. They talk about hiding reports. They hid those reports, and they were actually hiding the fact that they were culpable for introducing a scheme that burned 200 houses down and killed four people. So no-one on that side can sit there and lecture this government about threatening families.

The other side talk about the $4.1 billion. Again we get back to the former Treasurer and 'tonight I introduce four budget surpluses'. There is their economic credibility thrown straight out the door. They sit there and try to lecture this government over economic credibility. You guys are fossils when it comes to economic credibility. You have left a $4.1 billion—

Dr Leigh: You're the ones bringing fossils into the chamber.

Mr IRONS: I see the member for Fenner has arced up. Mate, you are on the wrong side of the House. Anyone who reads your books would think you should come over here.

Dr Leigh: You're bringing in the fossils literally and figuratively.

Mr IRONS: It is good you are participating in the MPI, member for Fenner.

True to form, Labor's implementation of the NDIS was at best a joke; if not, a nonevent. During the time I was on the NDIS committee we looked at some of the expenditure of the billion dollars that had been committed by the Labor Party for the first four years—they committed $1 billion only for the first four years and then they started committing bulk expenditure, knowing that they would not be in government. We went out to visit Midland, and the money being spent by the government on the NDIS was to build a Taj Mahal out at Midland to house the people who were going to service those clients who needed to use the NDIS. Where were the actual priorities for the Labor government in building Taj Mahals to service the clients? What about spending that money on the clients? Where were their priorities?

Those opposite talk about the NDIS and the fact that they introduced it. It was a bipartisan agreement that we were to introduce the NDIS, and the coalition will honour our commitments. We have an absolute commitment to keeping the NDIS going, and anyone who is part of the NDIS knows that they are already getting the services they require. We heard members from the other side of the House talk about how successful some of the NDIS management programs have been for the people who live in their constituencies. So they are having a go at the government about the NDIS scheme but at the same time congratulating the government on the process and the introduction of management plans for NDIS clients.

We then have Labor talking about savings. In their budget they said they were going to make savings, but they could not identify those savings. We heard the member earlier talking about the increase in the Medicare levy. How that was going to save the government $4.1 billion, which they cannot identify, is an absolute mystery. These are mysterious savings that they are not prepared to identify. Those opposite talk about threats to the Australian people. Let's look at their 50 per cent renewable energy target. That is now the biggest threat to Australian families. If they do not realise that now, they never will. They are just barking up the wrong tree.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Coulton ): The time allocated for the discussion has expired.