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Monday, 28 February 2011
Page: 731

Senator WORTLEY (8:24 PM) —A longstanding aid program serves our national interest, creating a more secure, stable and economically prosperous region. Paying for the reconstruction in the considered way outlined by the government is the right thing to do. The impact of the floods is devastating, but during reconstruction we must also ensure that we stay on track when it comes to the challenges to our economy, including meeting the skill needs and attending to our infrastructure constraints over time. The task of rebuilding after the floods will mean added demands now on our capacity, skills and resources. That is why we have made room in the budget through spending cuts and a temporary levy to fund the rebuild. Many of those affected by the floods have lost loved family members, children, life partners, parents and siblings. Some have lost homes and businesses and many have lost a way of living. Introducing the temporary reconstruction flood levy is the right thing to do.