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Thursday, 4 July 2019
Page: 340


Mr THISTLETHWAITE (Kingsford Smith) (13:45): Weak economic growth, stagnant wages, subdued consumption, skyrocketing electricity prices and rising unemployment: this is the coalition's legacy after six years in office. Our nation and our people can't have another three years of reacting when it's too late. They need action now. All this government has as a plan is to blame Labor. We can't wait for a Treasurer who's spending more time focusing on his opponents than on growing our economy. The wages of working Australians are stagnating at close to record lows and are growing eight times slower than profits.

The RBA sounded the alarm bells for those opposite. It did that on Tuesday by saying that you cannot rely on monetary policy alone to stimulate the economy. The government must act. This government is asleep at the wheel, with no plan to revitalise our economy to save jobs, households, pensioners and small businesses. The RBA is saying that you need a plan to boost incomes in this country and yet we have had more of the same from this government, with penalty rates again cut on 1 July, a couple of days ago.

The RBA is also saying that the Australian economy can sustain lower rates of unemployment and underemployment, but unemployment has recently risen to 5.2 per cent and underemployment is close to record highs at over one million people. Wake up, members of the government! Think of Australian families, pensioners and small businesses, and develop a plan to grow our economy and boost—