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Monday, 22 October 2018
Page: 10678


Ms LAMB (Longman) (18:14): I would like to thank the member for Chisholm for this motion on the economy. Clearly, it's not because I agree with the motion in any way, shape or form—in fact, quite the opposite. But, nonetheless, I would like to thank her because it gives me an opportunity to recognise, despite her claims, that it is only Labor who has a plan for Australia. It's only Labor who is fighting for a fair go for regular Australians. While the government is cutting health care and education services, it is only Labor who is investing in the future of this country.

I see the member for Chisholm notes that under this government 'essential services are guaranteed'. Colour me a cynic, but this is glaringly blatant political speak that essentially means absolutely nothing. I'd like to question what exactly is part of this guarantee that she speaks of? Is it a guarantee of more cuts under the LNP, like the $2.9 million that has been ripped out of the Caboolture Hospital, or the billions of dollars that have been ripped out of schools all across Australia? I have spent a lot of time in my community over the last few months—I dare say, a lot more than most members in the House. I can say with absolute complete confidence that this is not a guarantee that any person in my electorate would want—a guarantee of a cut.

What they want is a guarantee of the plan that Labor has detailed in its Fair Go Action Plan. It's comprehensive. It's detailed. It's a plan that the member for Chisholm so very conveniently forgot to mention when she penned her motion. I'll give the member for the benefit of the doubt, though. It's conceivable that she was too busy with the internal leadership politics of her party to notice that the stable, united Labor Party are getting on with the job and doing what government won't, and that is leading this country. Under opposition leader Bill Shorten and deputy leader Tanya Plibersek, the Labor Party have been working harder than ever in opposition—working harder than in living memory. We have had to because government have been busy shutting down parliament and cancelling sitting weeks. Someone has had to develop a vision for Australia, so Labor have done just that.

Our comprehensive suite of positive policies can be summed up in just a few dot points. They are very clear points. They are succinct. They give people a vision. Let me go through them. With our Fair Go Action Plan, Labor will restore funding to our schools and hospitals so that everyone has access to the essential services they deserve. Now, that is what I call a guarantee. Labor will ease cost-of-living pressures so that families feel relief on their budgets. We will stand up for workers, with a strong industrial relations system; invest in cheaper, cleaner energy; and, of course, build a stronger economy that works for us all.

The member for Chisholm speaks of a strong economy in her motion, but she fails to recognise what it is that makes a strong economy, and that, of course, is people. It's the people. You can't have a healthy economy unless you have a healthy society. Without schools, universities and TAFEs, people can't get the qualifications they need to get into the field of work they want. Without decent pay and conditions, people don't have the money to spend at small businesses to keep local economies turning.

Labor does have a plan. It's comprehensive. It's been crafted after many thousands of hours of consultation with stakeholders, businesses and organisations. Most importantly, this plan has been crafted because it's been consulted on. We have consulted with real people—with people who live in our communities. While the government are clearly shifting their rhetoric from the tired 'Blame Labor' routine, it's funny that they're trying to point the finger and say their opposition doesn't have a plan. It's quite humorous because, despite not holding government, the dedicated Labor team that is working along Bill Shorten has a plan and a vision for Australia. While the government are all busy looking behind themselves, watching their backs, we know Labor is looking forward. We're looking forward and we're bringing the fair go back for Australians because, as I said, that's what people have told us they want. They just want a fair go. They want to be able to have schools, hospitals and decent pay, and they want be able to raise their family within their family budget.