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I am glad to be back in the chamber today to take the fight back up to this government and its unfair budget.
Despite a five-week parliamentary recess and countless distractions from bumbling members of the government's frontbench, the budget is still what people in my electorate want to talk about. My community survey suggests that cost-of-living pressures are the number one concern in my electorate. And who would be surprised by that, given the detail that keeps coming out and showing that the people of Lalor are going to be hard hit by countless and compounding budget measures?
In the past five weeks we have heard that 'poor people don't drive'—that they do not have cars. Sixty per cent of the 60,000 families in Lalor have two cars and drive long distances to their employment. We have heard that the unemployed will have to apply for 40 jobs. The next thing we heard was that unemployment in the electorate of Lalor had jumped to 8.8 per cent—2.4 per cent higher than the national average. And there is no news yet of a jobs plan. We heard that Lalor will be worst hit by the education cuts, by health cuts, by a GP tax and by a petrol tax.
And what do we hear from the government? We hear that there is a budget emergency; that there is no budget emergency. Let me tell you, Mr Deputy Speaker, there is a budget emergency: it is a household budget emergency and it is going to crash on the people of Lalor.
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