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Thursday, 21 October 2010
Page: 1153

Ms GAMBARO (3:15 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to Solar Wise, a small business in Queensland almost sent broke by the government’s roof batts program. If Solar Wise and other small businesses like it that trusted the government to get its roof batts program right now cannot rely on the government to fix it after it went wrong, why should they trust the government on anything?

Ms GILLARD (Prime Minister) —I thank the member for her question. I advise the member that, in terms of the home insulation program she refers to, obviously the government has worked through a set of arrangements to deal with compensation. If she has an individual example she wants to raise with the relevant minister or through his parliamentary secretary then she is obviously able to do that.

More broadly, can I say to the member that the government is delivering its election commitments. We will deliver our commitments, as I outlined today, to assist families with the cost of living. We will deliver our education revolution commitments to make sure that after long, long years of neglect every child in every school gets a great education. We will deliver our health policies and plans, the biggest round of health reform, because after long, long years of neglect and the oversight of the Leader of the Opposition we inherited a circumstance where the nation was short of doctors and nurses and hospitals were short of funding, and Australians wanted to see action and change, which we have provided. As a government we have honoured our commitment to get rid of Work Choices, which ripped people off so profoundly. It hit their cost of living and their pay packets.

Mr Hunt —I rise on a point of order concerning relevance. The answer in question has nothing to do with Solar Wise and the jobs lost—

The SPEAKER —The member for Flinders will resume his seat. The chair called in order a question that concluded with ‘why should they trust the government on anything?’

Ms GILLARD —I am of course directly answering the question that was asked, and if the member for Flinders thinks it was badly drafted then he should take that up with others.

To directly answer the question that was asked on trust and delivery of promises, of course we delivered our promises to get rid of Work Choices. And on the question of trust, clearly who cannot be trusted on that area is the Leader of the Opposition. Already—the member may not be involved in this yet—the opposition is cooking up plans to toss overboard its written promises at the election about not introducing Work Choices.

We will of course deliver our policy and plans to keep expanding the productive capacity of our economy. We have emerged from the global financial crisis stronger than most, stronger than others in the world, but in order to harness the benefit of that strength we need continuing rounds of reform, including investment in infrastructure. That is why we will continue to deliver on infrastructure and on our promise—the member asked me about the question of trust—to deliver the National Broadband Network. Do we have obstacles in relation to that? Yes, we do: the position of the Leader of the Opposition. But we will deliver the National Broadband Network because of its capacity to transform the economy.

Of course, the list of what the government can be trusted to deliver could go on. How can I say very clearly to the member that you can trust the government to deliver these things? It is because during the election campaign, as we made these promises, we carefully costed them. We found offsetting savings. We made sure that our figures added up and we made sure that the budget would come back to surplus in 2012-13.

So, if the member is truly concerned about questions of trust, then I hope that within her political party she is trying to find out why she went to the election with a $11 billion black hole and a shadow Treasurer who had not even bothered to look at the costings—

The SPEAKER —Order! The Prime Minister is starting to debate the answer.

Ms GILLARD —On questions of trust, there are some very big ones for the member to resolve involving the Leader of the Opposition and his shadow Treasurer.