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Thursday, 1 March 2018
Page: 2498

Economy


Mr KATTER (Kennedy) (14:18): My question is to the Prime Minister. Could you advise what free-marketing has done for, or rather to, Australia? Are you aware that, because of the ALP-LNP's free-marketing, 68 per cent of the wool industry has gone, $16 billion; gas is sold offshore for 6c while onshore we pay $16, $23 billion; the motor vehicle industry has gone, $21 billion; petrol, no ethanol, $19 billion; and the Galilee coal rail line, $12 billion a year. These five items are costing us $91 billion a year. When will you and the ALP leave the fantasy land of the Sydney suits and realise you've imposed Struggle Street on Australians?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:19): I thank the honourable member for his very wide-ranging question. Let me deal with the success of the government's policies in regional Queensland. Last year, with 403,000 jobs created Australia wide, around 123,000 jobs were created in regional Australia—

The SPEAKER: The member for Kennedy—

Mr Katter: I asked a question about free market policies with the highest—

The SPEAKER: The member for Kennedy will resume his seat. I'm prepared to call the member for Kennedy on a point of order. I am going to finish my sentence before he starts addressing it. He can state what the point of order is. He can operate under the same rules as every other member of this House, and he is not going to shout at me. I call that member for Kennedy on a point of order.

Mr Katter: We ask questions in this parliament—

The SPEAKER: You need to state your point of order.

Mr Katter: and the people of Australia deserve to have an answer to that—

The SPEAKER: The member for Kennedy will resume his seat. The member for Kennedy has not raised a single point of order. He's just made a statement. I'm therefore not going to waste the time of the House. I'm simply going to call the Prime Minister.

Mr TURNBULL: I understand the member for Kennedy does not approve of or agree with free market economics. But I have to say to him, with respect to his views, that we here in the government believe in free markets, we believe in trade and we believe in free enterprise. I was noting that, in regional Queensland alone, 49,000 new jobs were created last year—nearly as many as in greater Brisbane. Our policies are creating jobs in the honourable member's electorate and other areas in regional Queensland. The big export trade deals are giving cattle farmers across Queensland greater to access to enter the new large markets in Asia. Our instant asset write-off is benefiting small-business people such as store owners and tradesmen in Innisfail perhaps. The honourable member would be prepared to acknowledge that.

Energy is very important. The honourable member often accepts that. The National Energy Guarantee will make energy more reliable and affordable. Of course, there are also our company tax cuts. I know the honourable member comes from a business background, so he understands how important small and medium family businesses are. In fact, he's representing a family business here in the House of Representatives. The honourable member knows that those family businesses are employing more because of the tax cuts that we've given. They're investing more and getting ahead. I appreciate the honourable member does not agree with free market economics. We do. We are seeing—and he is seeing this in his electorate—the benefits of the economic leadership that the government has provided.