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Thursday, 25 August 2011
Page: 9483

Mr HARTSUYKER (Cowper) (16:50): We come to this place to represent our electorates. We come to reflect the hopes and aspirations of the people from our communities, and a member of this House occupies their seat at the pleasure of the voters in their electorate. A member who acts contrary to the wishes of their electorate will ultimately be judged at the ballot box. Today's headline in the Port Paper, 'Oakeshott support plummets', says it all. We see in today's paper a reflection of what everybody on the North Coast knows. The people of Lyne know that they have been abandoned by their local member. The people of Lyne know—and I will use their words—that they have been betrayed. The people of Lyne know that they have a representative in this House voting against their interests. They know that he is supporting an incompetent and increasingly sleazy government—a government that reflects the very worst of New South Wales Labor, which was so comprehensively tossed from office at the last state election. They know that he voted against the interests of small business in relation to administration of the Paid Parental Leave scheme. They know that he voted against the interests of young people by denying them access to proper support through youth allowance. And they know that he is going to saddle them with a massive carbon tax that goes up and up and up. What did the research released in today's newspaper show about this carbon tax? It showed very clearly that 70.4 per cent of people in the electorate of Lyne do not want a carbon tax, 24.9 per cent support it and a tiny 4.8 per cent are undecided. The people of Lyne have made up their minds; they do not want this massive new tax. So what has that done to support for the member for Lyne? Does he have the support of his electorate? According to research, the primary vote for the member for Lyne has fallen from 47 per cent at the last election to just 14.8 per cent now. Support for the coalition has risen to 55.3 per cent. Interestingly, the member for Lyne has achieved a feat that I do not think has occurred in any other seat in Australia: support for Labor in the seat of Lyne has actually risen since the last election. The member for Lyne has increased support for Labor from 13.5 per cent to 17.2 per cent.

It is of great concern that we have a member who is acting against the interests of not just his own electorate but also the North Coast, which is very dependent on small business, and small business is going to be hit very hard by a carbon tax. There is no compensation for small business under the proposed carbon tax of which the member for Lyne is one of the principal architects, and the people of the North Coast and the people of the electorate of Lyne do not like it one bit. Some residents of Lyne were quoted in a recent newspaper article, and I would like to repeat those quotes, including that of Mr David Olsen:

He said that the local construction and tourism industries would be hard hit.

'The carbon tax will have a disastrous effect on the home building industry, which is already at an all time low,' Mr Olsen said.

'Our tourism industry will suffer as it will be cheaper to go overseas instead of holidaying in Australia.'

The proprietor of the Wiggly Tail butchery said:

'By doing what he has done (supporting the Gillard Government’s carbon tax), he has totally betrayed the electorate …'

This is also of great concern to the people in my electorate, who are going to get a carbon tax by default because of the actions of the member for Lyne.

It is not too late for the member for Lyne to reflect the views of the electorate and reject this carbon tax. It is not too late for the member for Lyne to reject this government, so comprehensively despised by the people of Australia. It is not too late for the member for Lyne to attempt to regain the trust that his constituents had in him when they sent him to represent them at the last election. It is vitally important that people who represent regional areas act in the best interests of the people they represent. It is vitally important that they represent the interests of small business and pensioners and working Australians. The member for Lyne is failing to do that, he is losing the trust and confidence of his electorate and he will be judged at the next election if he continues down this path.