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Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Page: 6082

Family Payments

Mr MITCHELL (McEwenGovernment Whip) (15:08): My question is to Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Disability Reform. How are the government's policies building a fairer future for families? Why is it important for families that these policies are consistent? What obstacles are there to this?

Ms MACKLIN (JagajagaMinister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform) (15:08): I thank the member for McEwen very much for that question. He represents an area with a lot of young families and does a great job in it. He understands, like everybody on this side of the parliament, that Australians face a very, very clear choice between a government that will do everything possible to support families and those opposite who just want to cut to the bone.

We of course are the government that introduced Australia's first national Paid Parental Leave scheme and I can tell the parliament that it has now benefited 300,000 families in Australia. Three hundred thousand families have benefited because of this government's Paid Parental Leave scheme. And of course it was this government that introduced the schoolkids bonus to make sure that children and their families get the money when they need it and this is helping around one million Australian families. One million Australian families are getting that extra cash to help them meet the costs of their children going to school.

What do we know about those opposite? Those opposite are going to claw back every single cent of that schoolkids bonus—$15,000 will come out of the pockets of families over the school life of their children. I have been surprised to receive some letters from those opposite, writing to me about constituents of theirs who would like to receive the schoolkids bonus. I would say to the member for Stirling: have you informed all of your constituents—all the thousands and thousands of families who currently get the schoolkids bonus—that if the Liberal Party is elected at the next election you will remove all of that money from those families? Have you told them, the member for Canning or the member for Barker up the back there? All of them out there are saying to me, 'Our families want to the schoolkids bonus.' It is up to you to get out there and make sure you tell each and every one of them that you will be taking $15,000 out of the pockets of those families. This Labor government will make sure that they get the help when they need it.

Ms Gillard: I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.