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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 520


Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (13:33): The Deputy Prime Minister has spent the last two weeks trashing people who live in our cities around this country. It is quite shocking for someone who is the Deputy Prime Minister of the whole of the nation. He said recently that people should stop whingeing about Sydney house prices, that the problem was they all wanted harbour views and they should move to the country. He said on Monday, in one of their internal party meetings, that people should stop talking nonsense that just appeals to Oxford Street.

I know the people who live and work around Oxford Street, in the Prime Minister's electorate and in mine, and they are decent, hardworking people. He also said—the Deputy Prime Minister—in question time just yesterday:

Are you on the side of working men and women, or are you on the side of Annandale?

What can that possibly mean, other than the people of Annandale are not hardworking? It is just not fair.

I would never run down people who live in regional parts of Australia or in the country. I am proud of what our country caucus does for those people—standing up for decent funding for their schools as well as for city schools. We stood up against the backpacker tax, which would have left the fruit rotting on the ground. We did not see the National Party standing up against the backpacker tax.

And when it comes to Shoalwater Bay, it was actually Labor that was arguing against the compulsory acquisition of people's homes and farms. It was not the National Party and it was not the member for Capricornia. So instead of the Deputy Prime Minister trashing the people of Sydney he should do a better job of standing up for regional Australia!