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Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Page: 4196

Ms CHESTERS (Bendigo) (13:57): Someone should tell the government that what you announce prior to the budget is supposed to be good news, to get the Australian community excited about the budget! I can tell you right now there are not a lot of people that are excited about tonight's budget, particularly not about the measure the government announced that people earning over $80,000 a year will get a tax cut—but no-one else. Do you know how many people in the Bendigo area earn over $80,000 a year? I can tell you: it is less than 16 per cent. What a message to send to the people of Bendigo: 'Eighty-four per cent of you are not going to get a tax cut tonight.' Perhaps the government do not understand mathematics. If you are trying to win the seat of Bendigo, you need a bit more than 16 per cent to get across the line!

Bendigo is not the only electorate where people do not earn a lot. The average wage in Bendigo is about $49,000 a year, and that is replicated across regional Australia. If the government is trying to hold onto country seats, perhaps you need to do something about the wages of people in the country. There are only nine electorates where people earn, on average, more than $80,000 a year, and they are all in the inner city. They are seats like the Prime Minister's electorate, where people are already doing well. This government has failed the people of Bendigo and it will fail them again tonight.