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Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Page: 14652


Mr PITT (Hinkler) (16:05): I'm very pleased to follow the contribution by the previous speaker, the member for Ballarat, but we should talk about some facts, and the facts are pretty straightforward. I'm very pleased that the member for Grayndler is still here because we're going to explain once again why it is that some of these funds are not being delivered in Queensland. It's because of the Queensland Labor government and the true Premier, which is Jackie Trad. She is the true Premier of Queensland, and they are stopping everything. In the Wide Bay area, funding for hospitals since we have been in government, in terms of federal contributions, is up 37 per cent. I'm sure this is no surprise to you, Mr Deputy Speaker Hogan. The only reduction has come from the Queensland Labor government, which cut some $16 million from our region, from our hospitals, for those public services. I think that is an absolute outrage. So the Queensland Labor government are reducing funding to hospitals. We are driving up hospital funding for public hospitals in Queensland.

To the member for Grayndler, who is still here, which I think is fantastic: Premier Trad simply won't sign up. She will not sign up to the funds under intergovernmental agreements which are already in place. Currently, they have not signed the intergovernmental agreement on inland rail. They're not signing on for massive road funding right across the state. They won't sign the National Health Agreement which would provide $8 billion of additional funding for Queensland. They wouldn't sign up to the skilling solutions fund—some $240 million just for Queensland for some 50,000 apprentices. So for them to sit opposite and say we are not delivering is an outrage.

The Queensland Labor government simply won't play ball and I'm concerned it is for purely political reasons. In my own electorate, the Hinkler regional deal is one of only a few regions right around Australia where we are ready to go. There is agreement between the bureaucrats and between all levels of government. It was scheduled for a federal cabinet minister to be in town to sign on a particular day. The mayor was set up. Less than 24 hours out, the Queensland government changed their minds on the basis that they wanted to expand it to five regional council areas. I don't think anyone who is listening to this broadcast would consider that that is reasonable in any way, shape or form. So the Queensland government are playing games for political purposes, and I think the people who are missing out are the people of Queensland and the people of Australia.

But a quick history lesson, Mr Deputy Speaker. I'm going to play a game of 'guess the year'. Allan Border was the Australian cricket captain and we won the Ashes 4-0 in England. It was a fantastic result for the Australian cricket team. Madonna was top of the pops with 'Like a Prayer'—and The Bangles with 'Eternal Flame'. There have been a lot of people born since then who are currently voters in Australia. I'm not sure if you know what year it is, Mr Deputy Speaker. We might get a guess from some of my colleagues.

Mr Vasta: 1989.

Mr PITT: We have a winner in the member for Bonner. It was 1989. What else happened in 1989? Bob Hawke was the Prime Minister. It was the last time a federal Labor government delivered a budget surplus. Can you imagine how many voters have been born since 1989 who can vote at the next election who have never seen federal Labor deliver a budget surplus at the federal level? Last night, the Treasurer of Australia, Josh Frydenberg, delivered a surplus for Australia and its people. It's the first surplus budget since 2007. It demonstrates how strong the economy is. It demonstrates what we are doing to drive jobs, particularly into the regions. We've delivered over a million jobs—as we said we would. So this side of the House is delivering for the Australian people. We are building on a stronger economy, particularly in the regions.

Inside the budget, we have opportunities for those in my electorate. There are 12,182 small and medium sized businesses in Hinkler which will benefit from the government's instant asset write-off, which we've increased to $30,000. As one of those on this side who have run a small business, I know that that helps you with cash flow. It gives you the capacity to buy these items and write them off in the first year. That means a stronger bottom line and more confidence. More confidence in small business means more employment—and that's what we're all about.

We've dropped the unemployment rate across the country in the time we've been in government. We're back in the black in terms of the budget last night. Those opposite will destroy the economy with a $200 billion tax hammer that will destroy all of the work that we've done to turn around their terrible economic management when they were in government. There is an opportunity for the Australian people. It is coming up. It'll be a stark choice between us and them. I say vote for the Liberal-National Party.