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Thursday, 21 June 2012
Page: 7495


Mr SYMON (Deakin) (14:22): My question is to the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform. What policies has the government put in place to help Australian families and pensioners make ends meet? What impacts have these policies had already?

Ms MACKLIN (JagajagaMinister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform) (14:22): I thank the member for Deakin very much for his question. As he knows, there are so many families, so many pensioners, across Australia who right now are benefiting from this government's decision in the recent budget to spread the benefits of the boom. We certainly know that these Australians are not in the fast lane and they do appreciate the additional assistance that is being provided.

I can inform the House that—

Opposition members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): Order! The minister has the call. Excessive noise around the chamber is unwarranted and I remind you of the standing order I have asked you all to read and familiarise yourselves with.

Ms MACKLIN: Since the schoolkids bonus started yesterday, around 370,000 families have already seen additional money put into their bank accounts to help them with school costs for their children. Over the next few weeks, 1.3 million Australian families will see this money go straight into their bank accounts. Of course, from January next year we will see the schoolkids bonus paid at the start of term 1 and then again at the start of term 3. That is money going into families' bank accounts when they need it to help with the cost of their children's education.

I can also inform the House that over the last month more than six million Australian households have received extra help with everyday expenses. Six million Australian households are getting extra money—

Ms Julie Bishop interjecting

Mr Pyne interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Deputy Leader of the Opposition and the member for Sturt, the minister has the call.

Ms MACKLIN: That is, six million Australian households who of course know that not one person over there supports the money that these families and these pensioners are getting in their bank accounts. They voted no to each and every one of these families, each and every one of these households, getting this extra money. We know that this side of the House is all about making sure we give families and pensioners help with making ends meet, whereas what those opposite want to do—and Liberals right around Australia are demonstrating they want to do—is just help themselves.

Ted Ballieu down in Melbourne is helping himself. He has just abolished the School Start Bonus. Barry O'Farrell in New South Wales is hiking up the rents for pensioners in public housing. And now we see the Queensland Premier deciding to abolish the school attendance measure so that he is no longer helping make sure children get to school. That is what Liberals do, while we get on with helping parents and helping pensioners.

Mr SYMON (Deakin) (14:25): Madam Deputy Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, how will the policies you talked about support families and pensioners in my electorate of Deakin and others in Melbourne?

Ms MACKLIN (JagajagaMinister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform) (14:26): One thing we do know for sure is that they will be out of pocket if you on the other side ever get the chance. I can inform the member for Deakin that 6,000 families in Deakin will receive a schoolkids bonus. What we know is that those families in Deakin would have missed out on the schoolkids bonus if the Liberal Party had had their way. The member for Deakin will be able to make sure that each and every one of those families know that, if the Liberals get the chance at the next election, they will rip this money off families; they will take the schoolkids bonus off families. We also know that more than 36,000 pensioners and families in the member's electorate of Deakin have received extra help over the last month. Once again, the member for Deakin is going to be able to inform those pensioners and those families that, if the Liberals get the chance, they will claw that money back off them after the next election.