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Will have a figure of up to

about $20 billion but the

golden year that Wayne Swan

will keep talking about this

evening is 2012-13 getting

back into surplus. The

opposition is very cynical

about that plan, it doesn't believe this Labor government

will be able to deliver a

surplus and if it does it is

expecting it to be quite tiny, of course we will also

be hearing from the

opposition leader Tony

Abbott, for his plans, if he

was in government for the

Budget he will be delivering

his Budget reply on Thursday

night but you can expect the

opposition in responding to

this tonight, we have seen a

bit of a preview about how

the opposition will handle

this Budget in particular it

is focusing on what is being

left out of the Budget for

example the carbon tax. The

figures for the carbon tax

won't be included in the

document, Wayne Swan hands

out tonight. The government

says that that's because there are some details still

to come on the carbon tax. So

many figures yet to be

determined like the actual

carbon price for example

along with things like the

compensation package that

business will receive. We are

going to now take you live to

delivering his fourth Budget the Treasurer Wayne Swan

in Parliament.

Mr Speaker, I move that

this bill now be read a

second time. Mr Speaker, the

purpose of this Labor

Government and this Labor

Budget is to put the

opportunities that flow from

a strong economy within the

reach of more Australians. To

get more people into work and

to train them for more

rewarding jobs. So that national prosperity reaches

more lives in more corners of

our patch-work economy. To

take full advantage of the

siesmic shift in global

economic power which

positions us as a prime

economic growth in our beneficiary of tremendous

region. And to succeed in the

good times as we did in the

bad. By choice not by chance.

By applying the best

combination of hard work,

responsible budgeting, and

well-considered policies to

the difficult challenges


. This Budget is built on

our firmest convictions that

just as our focus on jobs helped Australia beat the

global recession so too can a

focus on jobs ensure we

maximise our advantages in

the Asian century. And just

as deficits are the right

thing to fight a global

recession or to rebuild from

natural disasters, so too are surpluses right for an economy set to grow strongly

again. We have impose ed the

strictest spending limits

delivering $22 billion in

savings to make room for our

key priorities, ensuring our

country lives within its

means. We are on track for

surplus in 2012-13 on time

and as promised. And this

provides the solid

foundations for the targeted investments we announce

tonight. Mr Speaker, Australia emerged strongly

from the global recession

creating hundreds of

thousands of jobs while our

peers shed millions of jobs.

Our public debt is a tiny

fraction of that carried by

comparable economies. Our

fiscal position is the envy

of the developed world. An investment boom is gathering

pace. In our patch-work

economy grows unevenly across

the nation. Natural disasters

have devastated families,

cities and towns. The high

dollar hurts our tourism and

of course many manufacturing

industries. Specially small

business. For some talk of an

investment boom seems

divorced from reality. Wages

are growing. Yet many live

pay cheque to pay cheque. Not

every region prospers. Not every health service is as

good as it can be, especially for the mentally ill.

Unemployment has a four in

front of it yet some

households have never had a

breadwinner. The economy

cries out for workers yet too

many are left behind. Un

willing or un skilled. And

untouched by the dignity of

work. Mr Speaker, that's why

the core of this Labor Budget

is a plan to build the more productive workforce our

economy needs, including a $3

billion training package, new

ways to get people into work

and critical new investments

in economic infrastructure. A

plan for better schools,

hospitals and health care,

including a total of $2.2 billion for mental health

services. And $1.8 billion

for regional health

facilities. And cost of living relief for families.

Investments in a sustainable

Australia and new assistance

for small businesses and

manufacture ers. All while making the difficult decisions necessary to get

back in the black by 2012/13.

Light years ahead of other

major advanced economies. Mr

Speaker, nobody will forget

the recent natural disasters.

They destroyed lives and

livelihoods. Here and abroad.

The human tragedies are

foremost in our minds but

there are economic

consequences as well. The

floods and cyclone Yasi will

cost our economy $9 billion

in lost out put and reduce

real GDP growth by 0.5% point

in 2010-11 and combined with

the impact of disasters in

New Zealand and Japan the hit

becomes three-quarters of a

percentage point this year,

pushing down growth, well

below its long-term average.

These events have shaken our

economy but they have not

knocked our economy off its

course. Real GDP growth is

forecast to be a strong 4% in

2012/13 -- in 2011-12 and

over 300,000 jobs have been

created in the past year and

the unemployment rate is

forecast to fall further to

4.5% by mid 2013. Creating

another 500,000 jobs. Mining

investment will rise to

around eight times the level

preceding the boom, to $76

billion in 2011-12

underpinned by the highest

sustained terms of trade in

140 years. But not every

family or business is feeling

the immediate benefits. The

dollar is around post float

highs and this makes it

difficult for some sectors,

particularly those that

compete in international

markets. We see lingering affects from the global recession in consumer

caution, a slow improvement

in people's wealth and

tighter credit. All of which

have had an impact on

government revenue. But with

the investment pipeline

ramping up and unemployment

falling the boom will test

our economy and our workforce

and price pressures will

re-emerge. That's why we have

strict spending limits so we

don't compound these

pressures and why this Budget

will help get more

Australians in the better job

s improving productivity and

improving participation. Mr

Speaker, tonight I announce

building Australia's future

workforce, a plan to help

industries get the skilled

workers they need to

modernise apprenticeships and

to ensure more Australians

enjoy the economic and social

dividends of work. Our plan

begins with a new approach to

training. Putting industry at

the heart of a $558 million national workforce

development fund that will

deliver 130,000 new training

places over four years.

Better meeting the needs of

industries and regions with a

$101 million national

mentoring program to help 40,000 apprentices finish

their training. Accelerating

a presentship, letting them

progress as they acquire the

right skills investing $100

million in more flexible

train ing models, plus to up

to $1.75 million in addition

to our existing $7 million

investment to leverage

ambitious reforms to the vocational education training

system with the states. And

funding 30,000 more places in

the language literacy and

numeracy program to provide

the basic skills essential

for a job. Mr Speaker, along

with training more

Australians to work we also need to attract highly

skilled migrants to live and work in regional Australia.

For the first time we will allocate 16,000 skill

migration places to the

regions. Complemented by

regional migration agreements

for communities with skills

shortages. And we will introduce enterprised

migration agreements for

large resource projects in

return for a financial contribution to train Australians for the future.

Mr Speaker, better training

is essential for the

workforce our economy needs.

As is encouraging, rewarding

and insisting on the

participation of more

workers. Providing

opportunity demanding

responsibility. We believe in

extending the benefits of

work to every capable

Australian. Single parents

and jobless families, young Australians, the very

long-term un employed, the

disabled and older workers

whose experience we need and

we value. In a growing

economy like ours we cannot

justify the fourth highest

proportion of jobless

families in the developed

world. A wealthy country like ours has no excuse to leave

people out of work. So we

will cut effective tax rates

for 50,000 single parents by

up to 20 cents in the dollar.

Invest $80 million in the

skills and transition more

parents with high school kids

on to Job search payments, we

will phase out the dependant

spouse tax offset beginning

with partners under 40. To

remove incentives for job

people to leave study for the

dole queue we will extend

earn or learn requirements to

21-year-olds and create new

pathways to full-time employment for early school

levers. To get the very long

un employ ed -- lon term un

employed into work we will

invest $233 million in new

support programs and 35,000

targeted wage subsidies

encouraging employers to hire

those who have not worked for

more than two years. To slow

the growth of Disability

Support Pension numbers and

get more people into the

workforce we will bring

forward strict new work

tests. Update the definition

of incapacity, introduce new

requirements for younger

recipients. Provide more wage

subsidies. And allow more hours .

hours to be worked before

payments are suspended. And

to address entrenched disadvantage we will introduce .

introduce participation plans

for teen parents and new requirements for jobless

families. We will extend

income management and develop

new place-based programs to

support local and regional

employment. For seniors our

work bonus four allows an

extra $125 a week of earned income before their pensions

are affected and we will

better recognise their skills

and their experience. Mr

Speaker, our folk kwlus on

training and participation is

crucial to building

productivity. As is our focus

on infrastructure. That's why

we are building the national

broadband network. And

investing $36 billion in

vital roads, railways and

ports. Like the Morton Bay

rail link in Queensland, the

Gateway project in WA, the

western ring road upgrade in

Victoria, and now additional

funds to duplicate the

Pacific highway. Tonight I

announce new approaches to supplement our proud

nation-building record. We

will help remove barriers to

private investment in

nationally significant public

infrastructure by reducing

the tax uncertainty that

lengthy and complex projects

face. We will strengthen infrastructure Australia with

extra funding and greater

independence and we will

produce the first ever

national construction

schedule to give super funds

and other investor s the

certainty they need to invest

with confidence. Mr Speaker,

we will keep our economy

strong so that we can invest

in the things all Australians

rely on. Better health care

and education wrr they live.

We are already guaranteeing $16.4 billion in additional

growth funding for public

hospitals over six years. And

another $3.4 bill union over

four years for -- billion

over four years for emergency

departments, elective surgery

and 1,400 sub acute hospital

beds. I announce tonight a

total of $1.8 billion in

investment in hospitals and health care for our regions.

From the latest round of the Health and Hospitals Fund.

New funding of $717 million

over five years will expand

access to diagnostic images

services and make new

medicines in ument you

niceation more affordable

imyou nationations more

affordable. An extra $53

million will improve assess

to public dental services

particularly on those for low

income s as the first step

toward significant reform in

2012/13. But Mr Speaker,

tonight I am particularly

proud to announce new

improvements to mental health services. Untreated mental

illness can lead to dis engagement, unemployment,

family break down, substance

abuse, homelessness and sadly

suicide. We demonstrate our commitment to addressing

mental illness by making the

room in a tight budget for

$1.5 billion in new

initiatives as part of our

$2.2 billion package to

deliver better care. This

package will focus on support

for the severely ill by

funding organisations to

coordinate both clinical and

social support and helping to

relieve the pressure often

felt by families and those

with a mental illness in

navigate ing what is a

complex system. We will also

address prevention and early

detection for young people by

investing a further $419

million in Head Space and

early psychosis prefens and

intervention centres as early

intervention often avoids a

tragic cycle of hospitalisation and social

isolation. We will also

invest in better access to

primary care. A more

responsible system and a new national mental health commission that will drive

future reforms. Mr Speaker,

this Budget also builds our

proud record of lifting

education standard s

providing $425 Milowka on to

reward -- million to reward

top purchasing teach ofs.--

teacher. We will invest $200

million to support disabled

school students and we will

extend the national schools

chaplain sy program taking

new investment in schools to

over $800 million in this

Budget. Mr Speaker, while

our national economy is

strengthening not all Australians automatically

share in the opportunities

this creates. So this Budget

will help families under

financial pressure. Regions under pressure to modernise

and grow, and industries under pressure from the

rising dollar. We take

seriously our responsibility

to deliver financial

assistance when it is needed.

And to provide extra support for families with kids at

school. From July this year

we will deliver up to a

further $300 a year of the

low income tax offset into pay packets rather than at

the end of the year. We will

increase Family Tax Benefit A

for older teenagers by up to

$4,208 a year, that's $161 a

fortnight. On top of the $460

million we are providing to

extend the education tax refund to cover school

uniforms. We will allow

payment advances of up to

$1,000 for Family Tax Benefit

A recipients at any time, to meet unexpected family

expenses. And give parents

greater choice when they receive childcare support.

And we pl recognise

prisoners of war from World

War II and the Korean War

with an additional payment of

$500 a fortnight from 20

September 2011. Mr Speaker,

we know too many Australians

are squeezed by rising costs

of living and we help where

we responsibly can. That's

why we cut income taxes

substantially in each of our

first three Budgets. So that

an average income earner now

pays around $1,000 a year

less in tax. That's why we

have insured pensions are now

$128 a fortnight higher for

singles and $116 higher for

couples since the

announcement of our historic

boost to two years ago. Mr

Speaker, we want prosperity

and opportunity to reach all

corners of the nation,

especially our out offer

suburbs and regional towns.

This is crucial to managing

population growth and

promoting sustainability right around the country. Amongst the most important

things we can do to help deal

with population pressures is

to make regions more

attractive places to work and

to raise a family. Mr

Speaker, this Budget delivers

for regional Australia like

no Budget before it. Our

sustainable Australia

strategy starts with $4.3

billion of investments in

regional hospitals, health

care, universities and roads.

These investments along with

the NBN will help lift living

standards outside the big

cities, provide better health

services and educational opportunities and help

regional communities reach

their potential. These are

crucial investments but they

are only the beginning. The

Prime Minister will lead a

rigorous COAG process that

our state premises with the

Commonwealth on reforms of

particular relevance to their

jurisdiction from labour

mobility to the west to easing congestion in Sydney.

We begin with a $232 million

in new strategic investments,

including $100 million for suburb -- suburban employment

hubs and $61 mill dwron for

smarter motorways. Australian business embrace fierce competition but many are

feeling the pinch of workforce shortages and our

rising dollar. So in this

Budget we do what we can to

help small businesses in

particular, by replacing the

narrow entrepreneurs tax

offset with tax reforms that

are available to all 2.7 million small businesses.

Last year we announced that

from 1 July 2012 we would

allow small businesses to

immediately write off assets

be low $5,000. We know the

main asset of many small

businesses is their ute or

their van, so the first

$5,000 of the cost of a

vehicle can now be

immediately written off as

well. Because cash flow is

the life blood of small

business, we will reduce tax

instalment payments by $700

million in 2011-12 giving vital relief when conditions

are tough. We will give small

business a head start on the

company tax cut that will be

funded by a mineral resource

rent tax. And to make sure

local enterprises can seize

the opportunities presented

by the boom tonight I

announce a $34 million

package to help Australian manufacturers better supply

resource sector projects. Mr

Speaker, 2011 has been a

difficult year for many

Australians who have endured

floods and cyclones. We have

made the necessary decisions

to rebuild their communities

including a modest temporary

levy. Despite the total cost

of the Commonwealth

Government of over $8 billion

our commitment to tightening

our belt has not diminished

one bit. We will be back in

the black by 2012-13 on time

as promiseded. -- The

alternative, me me andering

back to surplus will compound

the surplus in the economy

and push up the cost of

living for pensioners and

working people. We despite

company tax s not recovering

like the economy. They are

larger and lingering longer contributing to reduced

company taxes of $8 billion

in this Budget over two

years. This overhang from the

global financial crisis and

the global recession along

with the higher dollar record mining investment and

associated tax deductions are

all slowing revenue growth.

Since the last update tax

receipts are down $16 billion

in the first two years.

Taking the whole write down

since the crisis to $130

billion, $130 billion over

five years. The lower tax

receipts in this Budget

account for all the increase

in the deficit for 2010-11

and about two-thirds of the

increase over 2010-11 and

2011-12. It means a deficit

of 2011-12 becomes $22.6

billion and net debt will now

peak at 7.2% of GDP that

year. A tiny fraction of comparable countries. Our

spending restraint means real

growth in spend ing average s

1% a year over the Budget

Estimates just, 1% a year over the Budget Estimates,

the lowest average rate in a

five year period since the

1980s. This is putting us on

track for a $3.5 billion

surplus in 2012-13.

Manufacture speaker -- Mr

Speaker, just as it was right

to step in and support the

economy during the down-turn,

it is now right to step back

and make room for private

sector activity. Good

decisions now will avoid

unnecessary pain in the

future. 22 billion in difficult savings in this

budget will strengthen our structural position over

time. We will reform the

fringe benefit tax ankle thes

for car by introduced a

single rate regardless how

far a car is driven. This is

one of 12 reforms since the

last Budget which deliver on

directions identified by the

tax review. Including the

phasing out of the dependant

tax offset and replacing the

entrepreneurs tax offset with

better small business

policies, adding the freeze

on higher income limits for

family payment - sorry

extending the freeze on the

higher income limits for

family payments for two more

years will also save $1.2

billion and make the system

more sustainable. And we will

increase the public service efficiency dividend saving

$1.1 billion. Mr Speaker, we

don't take our savings

decision s lightly. We take

no joy from making them. But

we take comfort in knowing

they are right and necessary

to ensure we don't compound

the pressures of the boom.

Labor governments of the

past managed the transition

from a closed economy to an

open economy competing in the

world. Now the world is

changing. We must change as

well. Ours is again an

economy in transition. Global

economic weight shifts from

west to east, bringing growth

and dynamism closer to Australia than ever before.

Our economy transitions from

sluggish growth to stretching

at the seams. Our Budget from

deficits in tough times to

surpluses in better times.

Our industries must

transition to the clean

energy technologies of the

future, encouraged by a price

on carbon. Mr Speaker, having

beaten the global recession

we now face these new challenges, managing them is

the key to our future. With

the right policies and

decisions we can convert an

unprecedented mining

investment boom into an opportunity boom for more of

our people. We believe in the Australian promise that

if you work hard you won't be

left behind. We believe our

economy can't afford to waste

a single pair of capable

hands. And we believe this

Budget, our tax reforms, our

plans for a carbon price will

set Australia up for the prosperous future all our

people deserve. I come end

the bill to the house. -- I

commend the bill to the

house. The debate must now

be adjourned. The Leader of

the Opposition. Mr Speaker, I

move the debate be

adjourned. The... Wayne Swan

being congratulate ed there

by his colleagues after

happening down his fourth

Federal Budget tonight. The

first of the Gillard

government however, a Budget

the Treasurer says is all

about jobs, jobs, jobs. Good

evening and welcome to our

coverage of this Budget 2011.

We are going to be looking tonight at what it means for

you, what it means for your

family, your business, the

economy and of course what it means politically for a

government that has been

struggling in the polls.

Tonight we will be joined by

Treasurer Wayne Swan, to go

through the elements of this

Budget, also the Shadow

Treasurer Joe Hockey, the key cross-benchers who

importantly will decide the

fate of this Budget and key

industry players as well for

their reaction. First though

look at the main elements of

this Budget, the facts, what

it is going to mean for you

I'm joined by Sky News chief

political reporter Ashley

Gillen. Kieren let's Gilbert,

there are a few surprises in the Budget itself but a lot of people wouldn't have followed all the media coverage in the week leading

up to this and seen the announcements so let's go

through them. Starting with

what we have learned tonight

and that is the economic outlook. As can you see on

screen there another big

deficit for the current year

we are in before we finally

guilty to surplus. A wholing

deaf sit for this year, for

next year deficit for this

year, still next year, but

importantly by 2012-13 the election year Wayne Swan is

hoping to have that back. He

says he is confident of

having it back and the

forecast suggests as much.

$3.5 billion surplus for

2012-13. Intl But those

deficit figser for this year

and next year are still big.

39.4 is second only to the

deficit we saw the year

before that, 55 billion. As

you can also see there, the

growth figures, how the

economy is going to look, we

are seeing economic growth starting to pick up action

that mining boom starts to

begin. Progressing well and

it is interesting as is

always the case for ry though

the forecasts in the -- for

treasury the forecasts in the

outlining years nos as robust

as you think for a mining

boom. It is a key Parliament

of the Budget is the fact

that the commodity s sales

will continue and that that

Budget surplus of $3.5

billion is on track for 12-13

but we should point out as

well in the context we will

get to it in a moment but $22

billion worth of savings measures in this

Budget. Let's look at those

finally on the screen the

jobless rate starts to fall

as Wayne Swan announced

already before tonight's

Budget getting down to 4.5%

there. But the spending cuts

you mentioned, the key

measures for the Treasurer,

$22 bill kron in spending

cuts identified and announced. Where the axe is

going to fall let's go

through it. $2 billion in

cuts for family payments, now

the detail of this is

essentially anyone on Family

Tax Benefit B, or Family Tax

Benefit A will be affected by

a freezing of the upper

income threshold. So they are

capping it at the upper

income threshold for another

two years. And that's at

about $100,000 a year

depending how many children a

family has Family Tax Benefit

A it is capped at around

$100,000 per annum and then

David what is also capped is

the end of year supplement.

That is going to be frozen as

well for another two years.

$726 a child if you are on

Family Tax Benefit A, it is

about $350 a child if you are

on Family Tax Benefit. So

that is frozen, it is - and

that's for three years it won't increase, you will

continue to receive that

amount but it won't increase

with inflation as it has in

the past. This is about starting to hack into

so-called middle class

welfare as some call it, not what Wayne Swan likes to call

it, but this is about trying

to take away those family

benefit handouts for those

middle income earners who clearly the government

believes no longer deserve

that sort of support. Let's

secondly look at the next

item there. $1.1 billion from

public service, we already

knew about this, it is called the efficiency dividend, it

is being increased all

departments and agencies have to tighten their belt and

hand back collectively just

over $1 billion to the government. The next one

there is the fringe benefits

tax reform, this is going to

be one where there is a political fight I would

expect. Indeed and that's for

those, the ute drivers, tradies out there who clock

up a lot of kilometres on the

road and they are not going

to get the concession that

they have previously got.

That's going to bring in

about $1 billion on top of

that the spouse tax offset.

This was for stay at home

spouses who don't have children, families without

children, couples without

children who surprised me but

it is up around 750 million

dollars the saving there. It

is a payment of $2,355 at its

maximum rate to stay at home

wives or husbands where there

is no kids. It is means

tested so the actual working

partner has to earn no more

than $150,000, but that will go. We should explain the

trust income as well. That is

the payments from trust

incomes, syphoned off to

children unearned income

which previously received tax

breaks and it was essentially

a way to avoid, a tax avoidance measure that too is

going. And the National

Party may well fight that

one. So again we are looking at another political fight

potentially there. The

halving of the HECS break,

this was previously announced

by the government, this is

about the discount that you

can receive when you pay the

HECS bill up front. That

discount is being halved

finally and this was a bit of

a surprise, the extent of

cuts in the Dense portfolio.

All up -- defence portfolio.

$1.3 billion from capital

spending and $1.2 billion

from efficiencies in defence.

But that's a lot of money not

going to be spent in defence.

We are told no major projects

are being shelved, some minor ones are being delayed but

this is about greater

efficiency in defence and

previously these sorts of

savings might have stayed

within the defence budget and

put into other areas the

glovment is clawing that

back. And like the middle

class welfare ravened in on

the defence cuts, there was

not a lot of fanfare in the

Treasurer's speech or his

news conference in the

lock-up with the members of

the press gallery and other journalists no government

wants to be making a big deal

of cutting defence but $2.5

billion is trimming a fair

bit of fat in defence and the

minister and the Treasurer in

the Budget lock-up didn't

want to make a big deal of it

but that's quite

significant. It is a biggest

single portfolio area saved. Finally infrastructure save

of some $945 million by

delaying work there. Let's

look at the two key

initiatives in tonight's

Budget. Welfare to work

changes and a mental health

package. We will start with the Welfare to Work changes

and we see what they involve.

This is an extensive reform

aimed at getting more people in entrenched welfare back to

the workforce and it is

targeting single parents,

long-term un employed, Disability Support

Pensioners, we will go

through the list. Firstly

single parents, will be given

a bit more of a carrot as

part of this change, they can

earn an extra nearly $4,000 before they start to lose

their benefits. But the

grandfathered payments a lot

of single parents have enjoyed will start to be

phased out. The next one is interesting, the Disability

Support Pension, this is an

area that's ballooned over

the last 10 years or so and

the government, indpeed the government and opposition

have been keen to target

this. Tell us exactly what it

is. This is going to require

more regular participation

interviews, as you said

David, carrots, in terms of

the xationity for people to

earn more before they lose

their -- capacity for people

to earn more before they lose

the welfare benefit. That was

for single parents and also

extends to a Disability

Support Pension. Carrot there

also some stick with the

greater and stricter

requirements, particularly in terms of those interviews

that we are talking about, to

show that these people

qualify but having said that

there will be some critics

that say the government

hasn't gone far enough in

reining in what is a ballooning part of the Budget. Finally on the list

there, the long-term jobless,

people who have been without

work for two years or more,

we will -- will have to do

more work for the doll.

Nearly dublg to qualify for

benefits. Finally -- nearly

double to squal for benefits.

The metal help. As expected

the government has gone with

a hackage as you reported

this morning over $2 billion,

$2.2 billion under a lot of

pressure to do this from the sector, they failed for so

long to do anything on mental

health. $2.2 million tonight

is matching roughly what Tony

Abbott has got on the

table. This is the big spend

in the Budget and not before

time. This will be welcomed

across the board and

certainly a wib wines for the

likes of Patrick McGorrie who

has campaigned so vigorously

for action on mental health.

Include s $571 million to

expand a single point of

contact, crisis services for

those who have severe metal

illness, there will be an

extension of a head space

site for teenagers with

mental health issues, $492

million for early

intervention, and over $400 million for suicide prevention. It is a big

package, as I say not before

time. And that one won't face

any political opposition I'm

sure. Let's have a look

firstly now at what sort of

reaction this Budget is going

to get from perhaps those who

matter most to the fate of

this document, the cross-benchers and I'm joined

now by independent Rob

Oakeshott. Thanks for joining

us. You probably haven't had

a great deal of time to

digest this, is there

anything Tony that jumps out

as a good idea or bad

idea? The mental health stuff

is very good. It was very

promising I think earlier in

the year and late last year

that all sides of the

Parliament actually endorsed

a motion supporting more

money under mental health. I

think that's very positive.

Is it? I don't think it is

ever enough and it dis dis

plays leadership at the

federal level which has been

lacking. But the other very

positive thing it is a great

budget for regional

Australia. Why do you you

say that? It has been a

number of funds established

that Robb and I were part of

the establishment. Simon

Crean is doing a good job in

the ministry and as the funds

roll out you will see some exciting things happening in

regional Australia. No

particular nasties have you

spotted? No, there was a

couple of minor things I want

to check out just to make

sure they are in there but I

think all in all it is not as tough as Budget as people were suggesting it would be.

I think in terms of trying to get people back to work and

some of the skills issues,

they are very important and -

But you think they could

have gone harder with some of

the tough love carrot and

stick measures? Let's see how

it works. Maybe a bit. But

there is particularly the

long term un employed it's a

big task. They are not saving

measures they are spending

measures to try to help get

people back into the

system. Rob Oakeshott what

about you? What's your take

on this Budget? I think

picking up on the regions, there was a lot of negotiation that went on six months ago and we are

starting to now have that narrative in the public

domain. There were 80 commitments agreed at the time we are starting to see

them land. There is nearly

$10 billion worth of work

done there and the figure in

the regional document is $4.3

but you can follow a billion

for the Pacific Hoy and some

of the nation-building funds

as well. That is a

significant step I think for

Canberra starting to talk for

all Australians not just for

some Australians and this is

the start of trying to change

the way government is

delivered for many regions

and I back up what Tony said,

I think Simon Crean has done

a lot of grunt work in the

last six months to make it happen. What do you think

about the spending cuts here. The highest profile will be

family benefits are going to

be cap ed indexed so that the

income top income threshold

will freeze for a few years.

It will mean some families on

$100,000 roughly do start to

lose benefits if your income

goes up above that over the

next few years, is that

reasonable? Look, I we will

pick through the detail. I

think we need to both look at

it action a national and

local level the impact of a

lot of the schemes, talked

before about nasty, some of the family payment and parents payments are ones

where I want to do drilling down on the details but

essentially it looks to be

pretty much a stable Budget

and in the raw politics of it

you said in your introduction

we are the ones that matter.

We only matter if an

opposition will oppose

this. They are raising some

concerns the opposition about this. Unprecedented David if

they oppose a Budget such as

this. So I would be very

surprise $if that happened in

an unprice departmented way

and therefore I think this is

a -- unprice departmented way

and think -- unprecedented

way. One is to income paid

to kids through trusts in the

tax break up to $3,000-odd at

the moment you can give your

kids the income from the

trust before they get taxed.

That's going. So it will all be taxed now. What do you

think of that farmers use

these trusts a lot. I haven't

seen the fine detail of that but personally I won't oppose

it. I don't have a personal

issue. I haven't seen that in

any of the documentation. Let's brick in

Bob Katfe -- Katter. Anything

in this Budget that jumps out

to you as a good or bad idea.

Unfortunately and sadly most

marriages in Australia now break up rather than stay

secure and if a family breaks

up well, the family farm will

go when the marriage breaks

up and it will take down the parents and they have worked

hard all of the lives to put the farm together they will

be gone as well as the sun or

daughter who was -- ag the son or daughter. So the

trusts these days the protection mechanism for

family break down which is

very, very common and I would

be be very, very upset and angry and disappointed if

that's the case. On the face

of it it seems to be that

that is the case. The other

thing is that we want people

to have families and a great

criticism is levelled because

if you pay people to have

babies well then people who

may not be necessarily the sort of people you want to

have babies will be having

babies. But people who are

hardworking and work very

hard and earn money, if they

can split the income a trust

is a mechanism by which they

can do that. So it had a

twin-fold, but - But the

trusts will stay, this is

just about the income that is

challenged by trusts to kids.

You have to have a look at

it. I share with my colleague

in worries and concerns about

having a look at the detail

because it is very hard when

you get a global statement to

pick out what could be a problem. Looking at the Welfare to Work changes here, tougher requirements for

people in Disability Support

Pensions, a long-term un

employed to get back into the

workforce. I have always

favoured the other argument

where by we do pay people but

I think it has reached a

stage where and I thought the

Treasurer's remarks tonight

were quite pertinent,

everything deserves to of the

dignity of labour, even

sometimes when they needs a

cattle prod to get them there

and a bit of a cattle prod. I'm beginning to think maybe there is a little bit of a

cattle prod needed there

somewhere. This is about the

right balance? Again I want

to have a look at it. Share

the thoughts with my

colleague s here. Generally

looking at the boement line,

getting back into tur -- the

bottom line, getting back into surplus is welcome but

we do have a pretty big

deficit. It is nearly $50 billion does that worry you

Tony? It doesn't. The short

answer because I think our

economy is in great shape. It

really is. If you compare us

internationally we can have

our domestic arguments about

debt and deficit and those

things and I'm sure the

opposition will go to that

but the numbers are pretty

good. I don't share the

concerns that the Treasurer

has and others have that you

have to rush back into

surplus, I don't think there

is any sort of real economic

rationalal that say s $1 in

surplus is so much better

than $1 in deficit. Is he

cutting spending too much

then in your view? I have got

to look the detail. No, I

don't think so. I think it's

a pretty reasonable Budget. I

think there are some target audiences there, obviously

the skilling, the word

"Region" I don't think I have heard the Treasurer use that

word so much. Is that

something to do with the fact

you three are on the kroes

bench -- krotion bench. He

has visited a

dictionary. Regional migration is something that

all of us and certainly other

members of pallet in regionat

areas have -- Perth in regal

areas have been fighting for.

Al Grasby fought for it and that's the last we have heard

of it until now and if it is

as he state ed this evening I

would applaud him very greatly. Because you can

bring migrants into Australia

but put them where they are

needed, where the workforce

is needed and theburgoping

mining areas we represent and

-- burgeoning mining areas we

represent and some are

lacking so many skills and

going to the cities. Would

you like to have seen more

skilled migration? I am not

condemning the Treasurer I am

applauding him if what he

says in the Budget comes to

fruition then I will be the

first to very, very strongly

applaud him, we were waiting

since the days of expectations raised by a

little fella a long time ago.

The carbon tax of course

isn't in this budget. It has

been a key point of criticism

from the opposition do you

think it should have been in?

I want to share the views of

the member for New England

Tony Windsor here in saying

deficit budgeting, I belong

to the biggest deficit

budgeting government in

Australian history,. Bjelke-Peterson government.

That was used to build the

railway line to get the coal out. To build the port and we

used to refer to the Navy

that went around outside,

there is a Navy outside the

Queensland ports now, just as

big a Navy than goes around

the circle off the NSW ports.

The gross efts of

inefficiencies but that money

went into been building the

giant Gladsone power station

that dplifed aluminium

industry to auction Australia. You worry about

the deficit will result in an

increased wealth in the

future. Carbon tax should it

have been in the Budget tonight? I'm pleased it

wasn't. What about you guys?

Rob, should it have been in?

We are framing a market and

it is an off-budget idea.

Really tonight is about 20%

of all government activity

that is a' reality if we are being honest shouldn't have

been in tonight in a good

accounting sense. If the

opposition on Thursday night

with a direct action pack

dwraj will include their

figures I will be all ears. Just to recap there is

nothing in this budget that

jumps out. You are saying you

will block that. You all seem reasonably happy with what

the government has put on the

table. If I could make a

comment on the carbon tax. It

is ridiculous to suggest that

that should be in this Budget. Because there is no

carbon tax, there may not be

a carbon tax. So how can you include something particularly in a hung Parliament obviously numbers

are required to get - You keep saying this, your

support is not locked? It is

not because I haven't seen the Productivity Commission,

there is a whole range of

international linkage things,

but if the government had

included a carbon tax in this

year agency Budget that would

have been ridiculous to do

not the smart thing to do. We

will have to leaf it there. Rob Oakeshott Tony Windsor

and Bob Katter I appreciate

your initial thoughts on the

Budget. You have a lot more

to digest I know. Thank you

for join us. Let's recap a

little of what the Treasurer

was saying on Tom some of the

tlafr elements, he was

talking about the return to

surplus and I want to recap

his the emphasis he places

and the priorities he places

on this return to surplus in a couple of years. a couple of years. We demonstrate our commitment to addressing

mental illness by making the

room in a tight budget for

$1.5 billion in new

initiatives. As part of our

$2.2 billion package to

deliver better care. So the

Treasurer there talking about

the mental health elements of

this as well and this is one

of the key initiatives of

tonight's Budget. To look at

this and also the somewhat

related area of welfare to

work, the other key initiative in tonight's

Budget I am joined by Lyn

Hatfie will, d Dodds, the

director of care Australia.

Have they hit the mark as far

as you are concerned. In many

respects they have. They are

talking about a strong

economy, talking about

sharing the wealth of the resources boom. They are

talking about a participation agenda and trying to move the

hundreds of thousands of

Australians who are stuck on

welfare into work. They are

fantastic goals, a lot of it

partition of is pages package

is -- participation package

is very solid. We are

concerned about they have

things like some of the

measures, wages subsidies to

encourage ploy employers to

take on long-term um ploit

Australians that's terrific.

There are $350 -- 350,000

long-term un employ ed

Australians and 10,000 wages

subsidy places, A little bit

of a disparity there. A bit

of a gap. You can't eat a

whole apple in one bite so I

am hoping the government will trial these kind of measure this is year and next year we can see the effective ones

taken up fully because we

really do need to address the

Australians. Let me ask you

about the Disability Support

Pension. There is a lot of

talk about the fact it has ballooned in number and

suggestions that a lot of

people get on this because it

is worth a lot more than the

aged pension is, the measure

they have announced tonight

will require those up to the

age of 35 anyway on the DSP

to rock up for an interview

every three months with Centrelink, participation interview I guess chat about

whether they can re epgang in

the workforce. Is that a good idea. What will it mean for

the average person on the

disability pension? I think

it is a devil in the detail

kind of thing. I think it is

a reasonable idea, one of the

solid measures if we can get

more people engaging I

understand the interview with Centrelink is not just an

interview, it is to develop a

part is place plan. So it is

looking at a measure, a whole

range of supports including

from non-government

organisations that a person

might need. So that's a good

thing but it is going to be

pretty dependant how

Centrelink can cope with that, so we will be working

with the government I hope

over the coming weeks and

months to make sure these measure s roll out in the

way. They will probably need

more staff won't they? Or to

train the staff. Exactly.

Good point. What do you think

of the mental health package,

$2.2 billion and there is

overlap between the two

areas, about helping the

mentally ill into work, which

is an important move, have

they hit the mark with this

pappage? They absolutely

have. -- package They

absolutely have. If I could

do a happy dance now I would.

I will spare you. It is an extraordinarily large and significant package for

mental health. $2.2 billion,

there has been a lot of Australians struggling to

live with mental illness for

a long time with no supports,

one of the fabulous things

about the package is that it

really does have a strong focus on care in the

community, and support in the

community. For far too long

what little money has been going into mental health as

been going to medicos and medical interventions and

they are great but we need a much greater proportion out

there in the community, this

package will deliver

that. Thanks very much for

your take on the Budget

tonight. Looking more at the mental health package that's

been announced tonight, Frank

Quinlan from the mental

health council what do you

make? $2.2 billion is a lot

of money, is it being directed in the right

way It's a lot of money,

most is new and we think it

is is a watershed in mental

health. In 2010 minister

Butler the minister for

mental health went on a very quiet national tour and

listened to the stories of

people experiencing mental illness, those provide ing

them with care and those

delivers services and I think

tonight's Budget really

demonstrates he has taken the messages right back to the

core of the Gillard

government, they have made a

huge investment in early intervention and prevention

services, they have established and expanded

services in the community to provide intensive case

managed support to people who

are experiencing really

severe mental illness, most

importantly though they have

established a mental health

commission that will report

to Parliament each year on

progress of both the federal government and state

governments in mental health

and a commission that will

oversee a 10 year plan for

mental health. So we really

are seeing a watershed and I

think abun stoppable

moment-up ag as mental health xhoos into the means

stream. $570 million being

spent on the one stop shot

single point of contact in a

local area with people with a

mental illness to access and

find out what services are available to them and point

them to the right direction.

Why hasn't this happened

until now? It's a very good question. We know in particular areas there are a

range of services available,

often very difficult for

service providers to navigate

let alone for somebody

experiencing a mental

illness. So this kind of coordinated service really

brings together all of the

resources and as you say,

means that people will have

no wrong entry point. Wrr

they enter the system they

will get access to the sorts

of services they need to see them through the mental

illness. A thumbs up, thank

you very much for your

reaction to this tonight. We

will take a quick break and will be joined by the

Treasurer Wayne Swan. Stay with us. with us.