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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 529

Pensions and Benefits


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:01): My question is to the Prime Minister. After repeatedly refusing to say exactly how many Australian families will be worse off because of the Prime Minister's cuts to family payments, the government today was forced to admit that 1½ million Australian families who receive family payments will be worse off. Why is the Prime Minister cutting the living standards of 1½ million Australian families?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:01): The question for the Leader of the Opposition is: why is he threatening the jobs of every Australian? Do you want to know how many Australian families will be worse off under a government led by this man? Every single one. How many South Australians are worse off because of the Labor left ideological approach to power? I will tell you: every single one—every single one that wants to turn the lights on, that wants to put the air conditioner on, that wants to have a job and wants to have some investment.

The Labor Party threatens every job and every business. They have a set of policies, and every single one is designed to discourage investment and discourage employment. And on energy, we do not have to theorise about what their policies will do; we do not need an economic model; we have got the state of South Australia that proves their folly.

Ms Burney interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Barton is warned!

Ms Plibersek: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The point of order is on relevance. If the Prime Minister could stop shouting and tell us about the 1½ million families—

The SPEAKER: The member for Sydney will resume her seat. The Prime Minister is in order, and I caution the member for Sydney on points of order. I have cautioned her before.

Mr TURNBULL: I do not think it is the volume the honourable member objects to; it is the content—they cannot take it. They cannot take the fact that they have failed to deliver the security of energy that Australians need, and they have done it in South Australia in spades. We can see it. Yesterday, it was 41 degrees—no power. That was great! What a great achievement! Really, this is the triumph of the Labor Party. They have a set of policies, a platform, every plank of which is designed, determined, to undermine employment.

Mr Thistlethwaite interjecting

Mr TURNBULL: I saw the member for Kingsford Smith complaining a moment ago about how you model these things. Well, you don't need a model; you know exactly what is going to go on because you have the model there in South Australia. It is a real-life experiment. That is exactly what they are doing. They have been experimenting with the lives of South Australians, and that is what they will do right around Australia.

This Labor Party is led by a man who preached the virtue of cutting business taxes—

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will resume his seat. There has already been a point of order on relevance, but I—

Mr Morrison interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer will cease interjecting. The Manager of Opposition Business on a point of order.

Mr Burke: I appreciate that we are not allowed to get up to raise a point of order again, but there has to be some limit. It is insane what is going on now. It has nothing to do with the question at all—

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Members on my right will cease interjecting.

Mr Pyne interjecting

Mr Robert interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the House is warned! The member for Fadden is warned! Members on both sides may wish to raise their voices, but I am not going to shout over the top of them. The Manager of Opposition Business I heard out of deference to his position. He well knows the standing orders. I am listening carefully to the question. I have a summary here with me. There was a preamble to the question, and I am not going to have the Manager of Opposition Business reflect on me with what he just said. I am really not. I have said before, many times, that if the opposition does not want to have preambles within their questions that is a matter for them, but I have decided to have free-flowing debate in this regard. I have said this many times before, and it was uncharacteristic of the Manager of Opposition Business that he was going to describe the Prime Minister's answer in that way and how I am ruling on them—I am not happy about that; I am really not. The Prime Minister is well within order given the question that has been asked. The Prime Minister has the call.

Mr TURNBULL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The only insanity that we are seeing at the moment is the Labor Party's assault on the living standards of Australians. The only insanity we are seeing right now is the way this opposition persists with policies that are turning out the lights and the air conditioners in South Australia—

Mr Dreyfus interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Isaacs is warned!

Mr TURNBULL: so that families cannot keep their children cool on a 41-degree day. That is insanity for you.