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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4362


Mr ALEXANDER (Bennelong) (15:49): Thank you to the opposition for raising this very important matter. Providing economic management is one of the most important roles that a government has to play in running a country, a key component of being a responsible government. The Turnbull government is sticking to its plan for a stronger economy which will create more jobs and opportunities for Australians. We've already succeeded in creating one million jobs since we came in. Let me say that again: one million jobs. That's one million more people across the country who can provide for their families, save towards their dreams and live better and more fulfilling lives.

Having created more working Australians, we're now seeking to cut their taxes. Tax cuts will reduce taxes for 70,000 people in Bennelong, the vast majority of local families, and at the same time we're backing businesses to invest and create more jobs for Australians, building a smarter economy to allow Australians to plan their future with confidence. The government is guaranteeing the essential services that Australians rely on now and into the future. A stronger economy has enabled the government to deliver record investment in Medicare, hospitals, schools and disability services.

We have invested a record amount into our schools. In Bennelong I'm proud to say that we have some of the most impressive schools in the country. They are dedicated to their students, preparing them to thrive in an ever-changing world, but at the same time they're fantastic members of our wider community, responsible for some of the fantastic cohesion that can be found in our suburbs. Our teachers deserve the tools to excel in their jobs, and this government will provide them. Just last month I was proud to welcome the Prime Minister, the Minister for Education and Training and David Gonski to the wonderful Ermington West Public School to show them the incredible work done by our students and by the dedicated principal, Shannan Judge, and her team. At this time, the government committed to support the recommendations of the David Gonski Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, and I'm very pleased to note that we are working with states and territories to ensure student outcomes are lifted. Also in the budget was the new childcare package, which will ease the cost-of-living pressures for nearly one million Australian families in child care from 2 July this year. This will make a real difference to the bottom lines of families across my electorate and across Australia.

Health funding matters to everyone. Through this budget, we have guaranteed that Australians have access to high-quality hospitals, a strong Medicare system and vital services for those with permanent and significant disability. It matters even more in my electorate for the employees of Pill Hill, the home of Australian pharmaceutical industry. Pharma and med tech is the largest employer in my electorate, and it is excellent to see that these industries continue to be supported by this government. Commonwealth health funding will reach a record $78.8 billion in 2018-19. This is a $12.4 billion increase over the next four years. Record levels of funding will be provided for public hospital services, while funding for the Medicare Benefits Schedule and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is guaranteed through the Medicare Guarantee Fund announced in last year's budget. There is exciting news in the National Health and Medical Industry Growth Plan, which includes $1.3 billion invested into conditions like rare cancers, chronic diseases and the cutting-edge Genomics Health Futures Mission.

Through the hard work of my good friend the member for Hasluck, the government is providing more choice for older Australians to live healthier, more independent and safer lives so they can take advantage of the opportunities that a longer life brings. Australians living with permanent and significant disability will have certainty, and they can exercise choice and control over the services they need through a fully funded National Disability Insurance Scheme. On this I would like to reiterate my thanks to the member for Ryan, who has personally overseen some cases in my electorate, including her life-saving intervention to keep open the RASAID home in Ryde.

This government has created a far stronger economy than when we came into office, and this stronger economy supports a stronger budget which guarantees funding for essential services, supports lower taxes and allows the government to back new infrastructure investments across Australia. PS: I would be delighted to work here at least until I'm 70.