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Monday, 27 February 2012
Page: 1763

Gillard Government

Ms O'NEILL (Robertson) (14:05): My question is to the Prime Minister. How will the government continue to get the things done that the nation needs for the future?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:05): I thank the member for Robertson for her question. I know that she is determined that for the community she serves in this parliament she provides the benefits they need today but she also is shaping the future that they will live tomorrow. I am not surprised that whenever the word 'future' is used in this parliament we have uproar and laughter from those opposite because they have nothing to say about the nation's future. Unlike the opposition, the approach we take is that there is not a day to lose to build the future this nation needs; there is not a day to lose to build a future in which we fairly share the benefits of the mining boom and this becomes a boom for the many, not for the few; there is not a day to waste to make sure we make the right decisions now so we have the economy we will need in the future, a clean energy economy, a high-skill economy, a high-wage economy, offering people the benefits of jobs and then a better job and then the opportunity to start their own small business if they choose to do so.

Here we see that there is not a day to waste to keep improving Australia's schools. They do not want the Leader of the Opposition's cutbacks; they want a continuation of a reform agenda that will get their children a better education. There is not a day to waste in continuing to roll out our health reforms, which will mean that there will be more doctors, more nurses and more ability for people to see a doctor in an emergency department, on time, or to get their elective surgery when they need it. There is not a day to waste to make sure that our nation is not at a standstill whilst the rest of the world moves on. We live in a remarkable age of opportunity as the global economy changes and as our regional economy changes, and there is not a day to waste as we go about seizing the benefits of those changes. That is what we are determined to do. As a Labor government, whilst we build that prosperity we are determined to look after those who need our care the most, particularly Australians with disabilities through the building of a national disability insurance scheme. There is not a day to waste and we are getting on with that job.