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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4510


Ms BANKS (Chisholm) (18:34): I rise to speak on the Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2018-2019 and related bills, and I'm delighted to commend the Turnbull government's 2018-19 budget. In this budget we saw that, under the leadership of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Treasurer Scott Morrison and the entire coalition team, our strong economic plan is working for all hardworking Australians. The Turnbull government's budget outlines our government's clear plan to ensure that the benefits of stronger economic growth can continue to be secured and shared. It is a plan that will provide tax relief to encourage and reward working Australians, back businesses to invest and create more jobs, guarantee the essential services that Australians rely upon, and keep Australians safe, all while ensuring the government lives within its means.

The Turnbull government is on track to deliver a modest balance in 2019-20 and, outstandingly, a projected surplus of $11 billion in 2020-21. The budget delivers tangible outcomes for residents in my electorate of Chisholm. A strong economy guarantees the essentials the people of Chisholm and across Australia rely upon. The Turnbull government knows that the security of your job, the quality of your health care, your business and your retirement all depend upon a strong economy. That is why I have strongly advocated for the people of Chisholm. In response this budget is providing responsible tax relief to encourage and reward hardworking Australians such as the good people of Chisholm. Starting in this budget year for low and middle-income earners, the Turnbull government is ensuring Australians keep more of their hard-earned income. We are also lifting tax brackets over time to ensure wages aren't eaten up by higher taxes. That's why I'm proud to be part of the Turnbull government, which is delivering tax relief with a focus on low and middle-income earners and responsibly returning the budget to balance.

Under the Turnbull government's economic plan outlined in the recent budget, jobs are being created, investment is rising and the budget is strengthening. Our plan will deliver lower, fairer and simpler taxes to encourage and reward working Australians. It will back businesses to invest and create more jobs, building upon our legislated tax cuts for small and medium enterprises. It will guarantee the essential services that Australians rely upon, including record funding for hospitals and schools, a comprehensive approach to aged care so that older Australians can live to the full, and guaranteed funding for disability services. The plan will keep Australians safe by strengthening security at airports and investing more in our intelligence and security services. It'll ensure that we live within our means, with a forecast return to a modest budget balance in 2019-20, with the lowest average real growth in payments of any government in the last 50 years.

Our tax relief plan will encourage and reward hardworking Australians. More than 63,000 taxpayers in Chisholm will receive a new offset of up to $530 a year under our plan to reduce cost pressures on household budgets. There's also great news for the over 19,000 local businesses in Chisholm, with the $20,000 instant asset write-off continuing for another year, helping small businesses invest in new equipment. Over a thousand local businesses in Chisholm have already benefited from this measure which supports small and medium business. This is on top of legislated tax cuts for small and medium businesses that are helping them grow, create more jobs and pay higher wages. For example, a hairdresser in Chisholm earning $50,000 a year is set to have an extra $575 in their pocket from the budget year onwards, meaning an $4,055 in their pocket over the first seven years of the tax plan. Put simply, our tax relief plan is encouraging and rewarding hardworking Chisholm residents and Australians nationally.

While the economy is continuing to strengthen and the budget position is improving, many Australians are experiencing cost-of-living pressures. Tax relief for low and middle-income earners is the first priority of the Turnbull government's seven-year plan to make personal income tax in Australia lower, fairer and simpler. By 2024-25 around 94 per cent of taxpayers are projected to face a marginal tax rate of 32½ per cent or less, compared with 63 per cent if we leave the system unchanged. Tackling this tax bracket creep is essential. It is something that those on the other side have no idea about and ignore. It is essential in ensuring that Chisholm residents are able to keep more of their own money. It is their money. I'm committed to delivering for the good people of Chisholm, and know that providing such tax relief will encourage and reward working Australians.

The 2018-19 federal budget is building a stronger economy that guarantees essential services like Medicare, schools, hospitals, disability services and aged care that people across Chisholm rely upon every day. The government will continue to ensure that all Australians have access to high-quality, affordable essential services at every stage of their lives. I have advocated on behalf of Chisholm residents, and this budget includes record funding for hospitals and schools, a comprehensive approach to aged care so that older Australians are encouraged to live life to the full, and guaranteed funding for disability services.

In this budget, the government have continued our absolute rock-solid commitment to Medicare, with an additional $4.8 billion investment, building on the Medicare Guarantee Fund, which we established last year. Labor's 'Mediscare' campaign is absolutely unfounded and built on the premise of their fraudulent misrepresentations to the local community. Medicare spending is guaranteed by the Turnbull government and is increasing every year, from $24 billion in 2017 to $28.8 billion in 2021-22, to support health care for all Chisholm residents and Australians. Furthermore, indexation of the Medicare Benefit Schedule, which the government reintroduced in last year's budget, will deliver an additional $1.5 billion for Medicare services through 2021-22.

The 2018-19 budget will also deliver more choices for a longer life package, which will support older Australians to live longer and be better prepared, healthier, more independent, and connected to their communities. The government is supporting 26,337 people aged over 65 and their families in the electorate of Chisholm to live longer, happier and healthier lives. I have worked hard to deliver for older Australians across Chisholm, and I'm proud that the package gives older Australians more choice and greater flexibility, including an additional 14,000 high-level home care packages so older Australians can stay in their homes longer if they want to; allowing pensioners to earn more without reducing their pension; and providing greater flexibility to use home equity to increase retirement incomes.

A division having been called in the House of Representatives—

Proceedings suspended from 18 : 41 to 18 : 54

Ms BANKS: Since the last budget, the Turnbull government has delivered an extra 20,000 high-level home care packages to support people to live at home for longer. Now we are providing 13,500 new residential aged-care places and 775 short-term restorative places to be made available where they are most needed, plus $16 million for capital investment.

The government will also establish an Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to ensure that older Australians receive the best possible care, with an additional $50 million to assist providers to implement the new standards. We will invest $32.8 million to improve palliative care for older Australians living in residential aged care, filling current gaps in support services and with $5.3 million committed for innovations in managing dementia.

The care of older Australians across Chisholm, from Mount Waverley to Burwood and from Blackburn South to Box Hill and everywhere in-between is a priority. I'm proud to be a member of the Turnbull government, which is ensuring best practice and better outcomes for our local seniors. Further, the government is helping Chisholm residents to work for as long as they want, laying the foundations for a secure retirement. We'll provide up to $10,000 in Restart wage subsidies for employing Australians aged over 50, and the Skills and Training Incentive will also provide up to $2,000 to fund upskilling opportunities for mature-age workers.

Indeed, the 2018-19 budget delivers measures to boost living standards and to expand retirement income options to give retirees confidence in their financial security. The Turnbull government is increasing the pension work bonus to allow aged pensioners to earn an extra $50 per fortnight without reducing their pension. The Pension Loan Scheme will be expanded, giving greater flexibility to use home equity to boost retirement incomes—for example, by up to $17,787 a year. These measures will significantly benefit Chisholm residents, placing important downwards pressure on the cost of living for ageing Australians.

More broadly across the health sector, the Turnbull government has committed record Commonwealth funding for public hospitals. The government will deliver more than $30 billion in additional public hospital funding under a five-year national health agreement, with funding increasing across Victoria every year. From 2021 to 2024 to 2025, the new agreement will deliver a record $130.2 billion in public hospital funding, which represents a more than doubling of public hospital funding under the coalition government, rising from $13.3 billion in 2012-13 to $28.7 billion in 2024-25.

The Turnbull government is also investing $2.4 billion on new medicines to build on our commitment to guarantee those essential services that Australians rely on. This includes a new $1 billion provision to maintain our commitment to listing all new medicines recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. Unlike Labor, we list, and we will continue to list, every single drug recommended by the medical experts—the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee—with approximately $9 billion of investment in new life-changing drug listings since coming into government, helping unwell Australians.

As the chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Women's Health, I'm particularly delighted that the Turnbull government will provide $703.6 million for the listing of KISQALI on the PBS to support women with breast cancer. Without subsidies, patients would pay $71,820 per year. This is a life-changing measure that will directly affect women across Chisholm and beyond, and these measures can only happen when you know how to manage the economy. Then you can put the funding and money towards life-changing medicines that help to save lives.

Mental health is also a priority of our government, and we are delivering $338.1 million in new mental health funding, focusing on suicide prevention, research and older Australians. Additionally, one million people will receive diagnosis, treatment and recovery through a new Million Minds Mission in mental health research, with funding of $125 million over the next decade.

The government has outlined a clear plan from the high chair to higher education, to ensure that every student in Chisholm and across Australia can choose the best education path to help them reach their potential. Australia's education system needs to be better than it is today. Students, employers, families and the Turnbull government all recognise the challenges we face, and how a stronger economy enables us to invest more in education and child care. That's why our budget outlines investment worth $43.7 billion in 2018-19 to support the coalition's reform plans for Australia's education system, including an extra $1 billion for schools this year alone, tied to evidence based initiatives that boost student outcomes. The government is delivering a 50 per cent average increase per student in fair, real needs-based school funding over the decade. Across Chisholm, the Turnbull government and I are ensuring that 2,206 children will be able to access 15 hours of quality early learning in the year before school and that 4,985 local families will benefit from more accessible and affordable child care.

The Turnbull government is focused on building the roads, rail and other vital infrastructure that grow the economy and make life better for Chisholm residents. We're significantly investing in Chisholm's roads, rail and other vital infrastructure and will directly affect the daily commute and travel of thousands of local residents. We are busting congestion through a dedicated fund outlined in the budget, which will help Chisholm residents. The benefits of our infrastructure investment for the communities of Chisholm include a $5 billion commitment to deliver the Melbourne Airport rail link; $475 million for the planning and preconstruction of a new rail line to the Monash precinct, including Monash University; and $140 million for the Victorian Congestion Package. The budget is providing much needed funds to improve and enrich our infrastructure. As a born and bred Melburnian, I know that projects such as the Melbourne Airport rail link are essential in busting congestion, creating jobs and helping to maintain Melbourne's livability.

Only the coalition can truly deliver for the people of Chisholm. Unlike Labor, we are securing the economy so that the government can provide for our local community while living within our means. The 2018-19 budget is a budget that truly delivers for the people of Chisholm. I'm proud to be a member of the Turnbull government, a government that is ensuring strong economic growth, reducing cost-of-living pressures, guaranteeing essential services and keeping Australians safe and secure whilst ensuring the government lives within its means. I commend these bills and the Turnbull government's budget.