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Thursday, 21 June 2012
Page: 7483

Mr BALDWIN (Paterson) (13:33): This is a bill that is extremely important to me, important to the Leader of the Opposition and, most importantly, these amendments are important to the 300 that have already suffered at the hands of terrorists: people such as Colin and Fiona Zwolinski and Jennifer Williamson, locals in the Hunter who were killed in Bali, and to people that came home, like Paul and Penny Anicich, Tony and Maryanne Purkiss, Eric and Jenny Pilar, Aleta Lederwasch, Nicholas and Jennifer Scott, Kim and Vicki Griffiths, and Bruce Williamson, who lost his wife.

There is a time when the government must stand up and do the right thing. This government has had no restriction at all in spending money as displayed by previous evidence in this House—money that was spent on pink batts and wasted; money that has been overspent on BER projects. But this government, which always talks about having a social conscience, cannot do a single thing to help out these victims of terrorism. They are asking for no more than what the state would provide them if these acts had occurred in Australia. I am saying to this government and in particular to the members for Newcastle, Shortland and Charlton, who represent these people in the Hunter: have a heart and come and support these amendments. These amendments do what is fair and right in providing support to those victims of terrorism.

We have been arguing this for a number of years. This was going to be part of the national disability support scheme, according to the former Prime Minister. It is not a lot of money. Averaged out over the 10 years this would have been $2.25 million. The Attorney-General might be questioning that. It was actually here in question time that former Prime Minister Rudd, in trying to admonish me for raising this—

Ms Roxon: Former Prime Minister John Howard—

Mr BALDWIN: It was former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Attorney-General, who said in this House that it would be included in the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which is yet to come to true fruition. These amendments need to be supported because they are fair, right and justified. If the government cannot see that it needs to support our fellow Australians in this way then this is a truly mean and tricky government. You need to support fellow Australians. You have got billions of dollars to waste in other areas. What about supporting your fellow Australians? You are an absolute disgrace if you do not step up to the mark and support these amendments. Our fellow Australians deserve it and I call on all of those members on your side of the House that have had constituents affected by this to support their constituents instead of walking away. You have no problem in wanting to introduce retrospective taxation into this House; you should introduce retrospective payments for people who have been severely affected.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. BC Scott ): I remind the member for Paterson, as I have others, on the use of the word 'you'. Please, it is a reflection on the occupier of this chair.

Mr Baldwin: I do apologise, but you can understand my emotion. I meant my comments to be made to the government.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, I cannot understand. I just make the general point for members on both sides of the House. It has crept into the debate on both sides of the House too often.