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Thursday, 5 February 2009
Page: 657

Mr SULLIVAN (12:45 PM) —Can I say to the member for Swan that I would like to support him in his call for the continued television coverage of the Hopman Cup. It is an excellent tournament and a wonderful format in which to give some prominence to women in the game, although they are achieving that of their own volition more latterly. Particularly, we could mention the wonderful result for Jelena Dokic in the Australian hardcourt championships recently.

I rise today to express my absolute astonishment at the fact that the members of the opposition in this place are seeking to block the Nation Building and Jobs Plan. The media comment that I have been able to see in the short time that I have had to review the media this morning seems to be suggesting that the media thinks this is a courageous act by the opposition in the Sir Humphrey mould. People contacting my office are overwhelmingly supporting it—but not, I should say, 100 per cent. There are some people who have contacted my office thinking that we have gone a step too far, but overwhelmingly, they are supporting it. Just a moment ago I received an email from somebody wanting to find out the details of the tax breaks for capital purchases for business. He obviously wants to take advantage of that to help his business.

I thought I would have a look to see what this package provides for the people of Longman, the electorate that I represent here. In this package, 13,638 children will receive the back-to-school bonus. That is about $12.9 million, which will be paid in the week commencing 11 March. The single-income family bonus for those on family tax benefit part B will go to 12,879 people—another $12.2 million. That is $25.1 million going to people in my electorate who have a propensity to spend it in the week beginning 11 March. That has to do great things for the retail businesses in my electorate. The point of this household stimulus package is to put money into circulation now and, by giving it to people who are most likely to spend it, it will circulate more than just the once.

On top of that, 4,139 people will be eligible for the training and learning bonus—another $4 million. The largest percentage of taxpayers in my electorate will receive the maximum of the tax bonus for working Australians. There will be $25-plus million in March and easily that much more between April and August cascading through. This is good for businesses in my electorate and it is good for jobs in my electorate, as people would understand if they had taken a moment to actually look at the retail figures for December that were released yesterday.

The infrastructure stimulus of $23 billion makes up the greatest part of this package—not the money that goes into the pockets of people. In my electorate there are 40 schools: 26 primary, four combined primary and secondary schools and 10 secondary schools. All of these schools will receive money out of this package—money that they need to give our kids the best opportunity to receive a decent 21st century education or for those niggly refurbishments that need to be done.

Public housing will receive $6.6 billion. My electorate is one where there is a long waiting list for public housing. This will help our people. There is additional money for the community infrastructure fund. I know that our mayor is in this building today. In round 1 of that program, my council submitted an application for $6 million as part of a $10 million project to build an equestrian centre. There is funding for boom gates at rail crossings and black spot programs. By not producing the money for these, we are putting the lives of Australian motorists at risk. I think the opposition ought to have another think about what it is doing in relation to this program.