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Monday, 10 November 2008
Page: 10407

Mr TREVOR (7:16 PM) —I commend the Australian government for its Economic Security Strategy initiative in the face of the global financial crisis. I rise to support the motion in its entirety. I commend the member for Solomon, Mr Hale, for his motion.

The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, is taking decisive and early action to protect the Australian economy from the global financial crisis which started in the United States of America and has infected every other continent across the world. The Australian economy is sound, but we all know that we will not be immune from the global slowdown and the real possibility of a global recession. This is going to be, unfortunately, a long, drawn-out crisis which will have a real impact in Australia, leading to slowing economic growth and increased unemployment.

The Rudd government, my government, has injected $10.4 billion as part of the Economic Security Strategy to stimulate economic activity and protect vulnerable groups in our society, especially pensioners, carers, disabled people and low-income families. The government’s Economic Security Strategy provides lump-sum payments totalling $4.8 billion to assist age pensioners, veterans, disability support pensioners and carers. I welcome my government’s assistance to pensioners and I look forward to more in the future. Self-funded retirees are also doing it tough.

Who will be assisted, Mr Deputy Speaker? The answer to that is: over four million recipients. Among pensioners, carers, CSHC holders and other eligible allowance recipients, singles will receive $1,400 and couples will receive $2,100, and, in respect of the carer allowance, there will be $1,000 for each eligible person being cared for. These payments will be an enormous boost to the Australian economy from December. In addition, my government, the Rudd Labor government, is fast-tracking the nation-building agenda in key areas of education and research, health and hospitals, and transport and communications.

The Rudd Labor government’s Economic Security Strategy will be of enormous benefit to my community of Flynn, particularly small rural and regional areas. Only on Friday of last week, I spoke to Noel Thompson, a shopkeeper in the main street of Eidsvold, a small bush community in my vast electorate of Flynn, and he reaffirmed what a huge boost the Economic Security Strategy would be to his community.

The global financial crisis has thrown up many challenges. We are meeting those challenges. There will be more to come. The Rudd Labor government is rising to these challenges, rising to them admirably. I congratulate the Prime Minister for his outstanding leadership in these very difficult and worrying times for all of our fellow Australians.

In the face of the global financial crisis, I call on all governments, including my government, to fast-track the proposed LNG projects for my home town of Gladstone to insulate further the town of Gladstone and my electorate of Flynn generally from the global financial crisis, which is worsening. I call upon all those in my community who are opposed to the proposed LNG plants to lay down their swords in the interests of the Gladstone community and the Flynn community generally, and in the national interest.