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Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Page: 8166


Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (16:19): We heard the shadow Treasurer pushing piffle and dribbling drivel. What he has not said is a fact. All he has talked about is belief and exposition of his position. Let us give a few facts. Expenditure: under this government, one per cent growth; under the Howard coalition government, 3.7 per cent. Average unemployment: under the Howard coalition government, 6.4 per cent; under us, 5.1. Let us talk about tax on the Australian public. Under this government, if you are on $50,000 a year you have got an extra $1,750 in your pay packet per annum and if you are on $100,000 you have got another $1,900 in your pay packet. That is what we have done. We have also had a historic increase in pensions. If you are a pensioner in this country you have got $128 extra per fortnight and $117 extra if you are a couple. That is what we have done since we have been in power.

The coalition have never supported markets and their position with respect to climate change is one of Soviet centralism, not supporting markets, not supporting the most economically efficient and environmentally effective way to tackle climate change. That is what the Productivity Commission has to say. We get mindless negativity from those opposite, saying one thing to the farmers and saying another thing to the miners. On the east coast you are the farmers' friend; on the west coast you are the miners' mate. You say one thing to Alan Jones; you say one thing to the press gallery here. That is what the Leader of the Opposition does. He will say anything and to do anything. He is like St Paul of Tarsus—he will do anything and say anything in order to win some. That is what his view is in order to gather votes. He is not interested in the households of Australian families; he is interested in the household of the Lodge. That is what the Leader of the Opposition is like.

I see the member for Herbert here. The Leader of the Opposition went on holiday when he was going to go across the country doing forums. They were LNP community forums in Queensland, not real forums; they were simply party political meetings. He did not have anyone in those meetings. And guess what? The Leader of the Opposition did not go to flood affected and cyclone Yasi affected Queensland. He could have come to Blair and enjoyed himself there. He could have gone to Herbert and enjoyed himself in Townsville. He did not go there. He traipsed off overseas. He does not understand the geography, the electoral demography or the flood geography of Queensland. He shows such little regard for the people of Queensland that on 8 February this year, in a speech on the condolence motion, he could not list the flood affected electorates in Queensland. He did not mention Moreton, he did not mention Oxley and he did not mention Blair. In fact, he thought it flooded in Redcliffe and he mentioned Petrie as a place that flooded. That just shows how much he understands.

The Leader of the Opposition does not understand anything about Queensland. He opposed the flood tax. We saw the shadow Treasurer here today and elsewhere saying he would oppose it. The people of Queensland know—and the LNP members across there should hang their heads in shame—that they could not find the $1.8 billion to be raised by the flood tax, a one-off flood tax which is less than a cappuccino a week if you are on about $50,000 a year, and they did not have the wisdom or wit to support what we are doing for the recovery of South-East Queensland and North Queensland. They knew that we had been affected by the floods. They knew it would cost $6.8 billion, but they would not support the recovery of Queensland. They would not support the community infrastructure, the roads and the bridges. The LNP members in this House should be ashamed of themselves. They should have gone to the party room and they should have spoken up on behalf of their constituents and Queensland; they did not.

We know that the Leader of the Opposition does not understand Queensland. On 19 July he was in South-East Queensland. He was in Gatton in the state electorate of Lockyer and in the federal electorate of Wright and he thought he was in Ipswich—he thought he was in Blair. He actually started saying he was in Ipswich. I want to thank the member for Wright—my neighbour and my mate—because he corrected on national TV the Leader of the Opposition because he could not work out where he was in Queensland. That is how much he respects Queensland and how much he wants to stand up for Queenslanders—opposing the reconstruction of Queensland. There is $478 million for local road infrastructure in the Lockyer Valley in the seat of Wright and in Ipswich in the seat of Blair, but guess what? The coalition have opposed it all. They have opposed the funding for the reconstruction of Queensland. That is the situation. The coalition are opposing the Green Army jobs, the job skills and development officers in the Lockyer Valley, in Ipswich and in the Somerset region and all the reconstruction necessary for recovery.

But guess what? We have the coalition here today being proud of the fact they are going to sack public servants and get rid of government departments. They are proud of the fact they are going to cut back $70 billion. They could not find $1 billion. They said they would find it to help with Queensland's recovery. It took them weeks. I see the member for Curtin is here, having fought a rearguard action against the One Nation supporters opposite in the party room when they tried to strip away the funding for foreign aid, taking the idea right out of the playbook of One Nation. That is what the coalition did when they tried to find the money. They could not find $1 billion to help the recovery of Queensland. Where are they going to find $70 billion?

We know they have an $11-billion black hole. That is what the Treasury said after the last election. We would not have known about it but for the Independents insisting on discovering it. They would not have discovered it until they were forced to do it. Now they have a $70 billion black hole. What are they going to do? What projects, what flood recovery in Queensland, are they going to stop? They are going to stop the Ipswich motorway construction. We know they want to stop the Ipswich motorway construction. That is the policy they took to the last election. There are 10,000 jobs at risk in Ipswich in South-East Queensland because of you guys.

We know they do not support community infrastructure. We know they are going to get rid of the regional infrastructure funding. They are opposed to the $4.3 billion for regional universities and regional infrastructure in South-East Queensland and Central Queensland. The member for Flynn is here. Did he stand up for this thing? No, he did not. He wants to get rid of the funding for regional Queensland. Places like Gladstone will suffer because of him. The member for Ryan will not support the BER projects here but went to the BER project at the Pullenvale State School last week in her own electorate. They say one thing down here and say one thing back in Queensland.

The LNP members opposite should be ashamed. They are the ones that are not instilling confidence in the people of Queensland and the people of Australia. We know that the LNP members are like that. They are really proud down here, but back home they will say something very different. Guess what? We know they are inconsistent. It reeks of hypocrisy. We know they are hopeless, hapless and helpless. We know that when it comes to economics. We know that because inflation was higher, interest rates were higher, unemployment was higher and government expenditure was higher under the previous coalition government. They say one thing to the market and they do another.

Did they have the wit or wisdom to ever bring in trade practices legislation in this country? The Whitlam government did that. Did they have the wit and wisdom to reform competition and consumer laws in this country? No. Did they float the dollar? No. Did they bring in superannuation? No. Did they internationalise the economy? No, they did not, because they are always on the side of big liquor, big tobacco and big business and never on the side of the small business sector. Did they ever bring in a national business name registry? No. It is going to save $1.6 billion to Australian business. What about the business hotline? What about the mybusiness website? This government is doing all of that. We are supporting small business in flood affected areas like South-East Queensland, in North Queensland and in Central Queensland that have been so affected.

The coalition is the one not instilling confidence in the Australian public, because what it is doing is damaging the economy. Coalition members are talking it down all the time. They are also damaging the civility of Queensland and Australian life. Some of the things they say and do they should be ashamed of. The rallies they support, what they do and the way they refer to the Prime Minister are disrespectful. I do not care if they disagree with her politics. I do not care for the sexism and the misogyny we see at times from those opposite when we make statements. That is unfortunate.

Ms Julie Bishop: Mr Deputy Speaker, on a point of order—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. Peter Slipper ): The member's time has almost expired but he referred, as I understand, to the opposition as a group and he did not refer to any individual member. I call the member for Blair.

Mr NEUMANN: That is exactly right. At the rallies we see placards and we see members of the opposition standing in front of placards that are disrespectful of the office of the Prime Minister. (Time expired)