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Thursday, 10 May 2018
Page: 3777


Ms CHESTERS (Bendigo) (10:50): You know, lots of people are standing up and having their few minutes' say on the budget, and I think it's going to continue, because the more and more we unpack of this shocker budget, the more and more we discover just how hopeless this government is. Can you believe that, in the middle of a banking royal commission where we are hearing of the most outrageous misbehaviour of the big four banks and of what's going on in our finance sector, this government has cut $26 million from ASIC, the corporate regulator? Can you believe it? At a time when we need to have our federal government acting on corporate misbehaviour, this government has cut $26 million from ASIC's ability to do its job. There are funding cuts to the AFP and to the Director of Public Prosecutions—the people who will help hold the banks accountable for their corrupt behaviour. No, no, no—on budget night, the government buried funding cuts to the people, their mates, in the banks who are doing the wrong thing.

This government also cut jobs from Centrelink. When we cannot get the phones answered, when the Centrelink team, the hardworking public servants who work in DHS, are struggling to meet the expectations of community, and when this government is piling work after work onto Centrelink, the government, in their budget, will cut almost 1,300 jobs. It's a disgrace!

The government have cut $80 million from the ABC. Central Victorians love their ABC. They love the news. They love the local stories. They love the opportunity that it creates for the creative industries, particularly in places like Castlemaine and Bendigo. Yet the government have cut the ABC back to the bone. And why? They don't like the investigative journalism of the ABC. They don't like being held accountable, so they say, 'Let's defund our public broadcaster, whose job it is to hold us accountable.' We know they don't like creatives. We know they don't like the arts sector, with funding cut after funding cut for the arts sector. This government has also completely exited the space when it—

Honourable members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr S Georganas ): Order! There's too much noise in the chamber.

Ms CHESTERS: comes to telecommunications. There's no new money for mobile phone blackspots—not a single dollar extra for mobile phone blackspots. We are talking about the Bendigo electorate, where we get maybe one every three years. At that rate, under this government's model, we will never fix the mobile phone blackspot problem in Central Victoria.

There is no new money for the NBN rollout. So people in Central Victoria who are being crippled by crap fibre-to-the-node technology will continue to be so. There are new TAFE cuts, with $170 million cut from TAFE. And $15.5 million is to be cut from Bendigo schools. This government has failed again.