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Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Page: 11038


Mrs ELLIOT (Richmond) (10:54): I rise to speak on Labor's Fair Go Action Plan and what a positive impact this will have in my electorate of Richmond, on the New South Wales North Coast. The fact is locals in my region and, indeed, across Australia have had enough of chaos of the Abbot-Turnbull-Morrison governments and are calling out for a united and stable government. They are calling out for a government that delivers for them and for their families and they want a future built on fairness, and it is only Labor that can deliver it.

Instead, all they've got now is this arrogant Liberal-National government which is so out of touch with Australians. After five long years of the cuts, chaos and crisis of this government, the people in my region know they've been abandoned by the Liberal-National party. Their hopes and aspirations are pushed aside while this government's infighting consumes them. In the past few weeks we have seen again the National Party talking about themselves and who leads them rather than focusing on the needs of regional and rural Australians. People in the regions have quite rightly walked away from the National Party because they don't protect their interests and they don't fight for them at all.

Here we have the situation with the cost of living increasing and wages failing to keep up, combined with the cuts to health, aged care and education. People in my electorate are especially hurting. So many frontline services have been cut by the National Party on the north coast at both federal and state levels. This is why we need a stable and steady Labor government to get the economy working for people again. Make no mistake about it: Labor is and will always be the only party that can actually deliver fairness. Only Labor has pledged an action plan to deliver a fair go to everyday working Australians.

Our fair go plan focuses on a number of policy measures that will help people living on the north coast. Firstly, we will fix our schools and hospitals by restoring funding cut by the Liberals and Nationals to ensure our community has quality public schools and hospitals. In our hospitals there will be much greater investment in our doctors and nurses and more beds for patients. Our recent announcement will deliver an extra $14 billion for public schools over the next decade, with $3.3 billion flowing in the first three years alone. Labor's plan will also ease pressure on family budgets by ending the Medicare freeze and giving important tax breaks to workers. We'll also better regulate power prices, with a new regulated cap protecting families and small businesses from price gouging by big energy companies. And, as always, Labor will stand up for the workers by protecting penalty rates, which are so vital in an area like mine with many people working in industries that do get penalty rates. They need to be protected. Only Labor will do that. Also, Labor will invest in cheaper, cleaner energy by delivering 50 per cent renewables by 2030—a major move.

Fundamentally, Labor wants to build a strong economy that starts working for all of us. The choice for my community on the north coast is very clear. Locals know the cuts, chaos and misery the National Party leaves behind every time they are in government. They have abandoned the north coast and, in fact, they've abandoned governing at all. In contrast to all of this, Labor stands united and stable, and we're fighting for a fair go for all Australians—a fair go that will make a very big difference in the lives of people living on the New South Wales north coast in my electorate. People are calling for fairness, and it's only Labor that will deliver a fair go. That's our pledge: a fair go for all Australians. It'll make a major difference to people living in my area on the New South Wales north coast.