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Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Page: 4314


Mr MITCHELL (McEwen) (14:35): Not from this side, anyway! My question is to the Minister for Community Services, Minister for the Status of Women and Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development. Minister, how is the budget delivering vital support for Australian families and women?

Ms COLLINS (FranklinMinister for Community Services, Minister for the Status of Women and Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development) (14:35): I thank the member for McEwen for his question because we know that this budget is really and truly putting low- and middle-income Australians first. It is a Labor budget that is delivering support for the cost of living for 1.5 million Australian families like the 12,800 families in the seat of McEwen who will be eligible to receive this government's new schoolkids bonus. These 12,800 families will receive $820 a year for high school students and $410 a year for every primary school student. We are ready to provide these 12,800 families in the seat of McEwen, and the 1.3 million Australian families around Australia, with this year's bonus payment in just a few weeks time. That is more than $13 million in support for kids' education that families in McEwen alone will receive. I know the member for McEwen will be standing up for his families in his electorate. He knows how important it is to get that support out to the mums and dads and kids in his electorate and right around Australia.

It is particularly important for the member for McEwen because in his home state of Victoria the Liberal government has just cut back on family support. In its budget, the Baillieu Liberal government cut its School Start Bonus, meaning 40,000 families in Victoria will be losing payments because of Liberal Party cuts. Now we have this Leader of the Opposition standing in the way of helping Australian families just trying to do the right thing by their children.

These are ordinary working Australians and they are in the electorate of every member over there. Like the member for Leichhardt: will he be standing in the way of the 12,500 families in his electorate receiving the payment? Or the member for Forde: will he be supporting the 12,000 in his electorate or will he be stopping them from receiving more than $12 million in just a few weeks time? What about the member for Maranoa, the member for Parkes, the member for Ryan, the member for Longman and the 46,000 eligible to receive this payment in their electorates? Will they be standing up for them?

No matter where they are in Australia, we know that coalition governments cut services and payments for families. But this is not just about payments. It is not just about blocking the cash to these families. They are actually refusing to trust Australian families. The Leader of the Opposition is saying, loud and clear, to parents that he does not trust them with their own family budgets. This is an insult to all Australian parents. It is an attack on their ability to look after their own kids. We know that parents make decisions every day, every week, about their children. But the coalition do not think they can be trusted with some extra cash. (Time expired)