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Thursday, 10 May 2018
Page: 3774

Mr EVANS (Brisbane) (10:41): This week's budget has been a great budget for Brisbane. More than 75,000 people in the electorate of Brisbane will receive tax relief in 50 days time. Hardworking people around Brisbane will be keeping more of their own money, their own hard-earned money, as reward for their efforts, because this government's strong economic plan is starting to pay dividends for Australia. A year ago, speaking here on last year's budget, I predicted why supporting Australia's small and medium businesses would pay these dividends. Now we see the evidence that the key planks of this government's strong economic plan are working—the tax relief for small and medium businesses, our innovation agenda, the new free trade agreements and the growth of our defence industry. We can see evidence of these policies working right across Brisbane.

Nationwide, these policies combined to help Australia's small and medium businesses create new jobs last year faster than jobs have ever been created before in Australia's history—a record 1,100 jobs a day in 2017. It means more Australians are being productive and paying taxes, and fewer Australians are relying on welfare. That's a powerful outcome, economically and morally. And it's enabling this government to guarantee essential services, to provide this new record help for seniors, to make a record investment this year in our environment and the Great Barrier Reef, and finally, with certainty, to fully fund the NDIS out of consolidated revenue, all at the same time as being able to give tax relief to the Australians whose hard work and success have made this happen. That's the power of supporting Australia's small and medium businesses. That's the power of supporting hardworking Australians.

A year ago, the Treasurer mentioned the Brisbane Metro in his budget speech, and this week I was delighted that the Treasurer announced $300 million in funding to make the Brisbane Metro project a reality. There's been a lot of hard work put in between those two budget speeches to make that decision happen, and full accolades have to go to the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Graham Quirk, and his deputy, Adrian Schrinner, who built the compelling business case for this project. Infrastructure Australia got it right last month when they assessed the Brisbane Metro as an investment-ready, high-priority infrastructure project with a strong business case. Thank you to all the locals around Brisbane who answered my calls and signed the petitions to help prove how enthusiastic the grassroots community support is for the Brisbane Metro. Your voice has been heard.

Brisbane is becoming more prosperous as this budget builds on last year's budget, as we support our small and medium businesses and hardworking people right across Brisbane. And it's becoming better because of the support we're then able to provide in this budget for the environment, for seniors, for the NDIS and for so many other worthwhile projects. This is a great budget for Brisbane.