MPI on the economy


Like the Treasurer, I was raised in a family with a single mother. Like the Treasurer, I was raised in an area that, in this place, would be called an area with the low socioeconomic profile. Like the Treasurer's mother, I paid a mortgage, with three children, on my own, working part time. There were people in my community at the time who assumed I was renting, because how could I possibly be paying a mortgage as a single mother? We all know the stereotype. I understand what it means to pay a mortgage in a crisis. I understand what the people in my electorate of Lalor are dealing with at the moment.

I represent a community of the youngest families in the country. I represent a community where everybody has a mortgage or everybody is paying off someone else's mortgage by renting their home. Bluntly, that's the community I live in. So I understand what's happening in the kitchens around the country. I understand what's happening in my community. I've stood on my feet here, in this place, for nine years, talking about what was hard for my community, while those who now sit on the opposition benches sat here and ignored those issues.

To come into a discussion today on the matter of public importance around the cost-of-living—which, as the member for Dunkley said, seems to be on a fast rotation for those opposite, raised day in, day out—and to have those opposite still not understand the things that we have done since coming to government to address those issues for our community, to hear those opposite talk about community organisations having people make increased demands for food support—hello! How many times did I raise that in this House after the 2014 budget, when you slashed funding for community organisations? In communities like mine, that hurt?

So bear with me if I fail to understand why those opposite continue to do this, when they have a track record over nine months of coming in here and saying no to every solution we've put on the table. Forgive me for not taking advice, on behalf of myself and the communities I represent, from those opposite when they didn't even have the decency to show up at the Jobs and Skills Summit straight after the election—summits that we ran across the country to hear our communities talk about what they needed. Forgive me if I don't want to listen to those opposite when they balk at the notion of a one dollar pay rise for our lowest-paid workers. Forgive me if I'm not going to listen to those opposite when they were mortified and did nothing about the crisis in aged care for the residents in aged care and nothing—absolutely zilch, zero, dot—for the workers in aged care.

Forgive me if I'm not going to listen to those opposite lecture us about life through the pandemic and the lessons that were learned, because we learned those lessons and we bring to this place plans for a better Australia on the back of that. We have an economic plan about relief, repair and restraint. Those opposite have said no to everything we've put on the table so far. They demand an economic plan and yet they sit here screaming while the Treasurer outlines an economic plan day after day in question time, because they don't want to hear that there is a plan.

To my community at home: we hear you; we know you. We know how tough it is. We know that mortgage interest rates are going up. We know there have been 10 consecutive rate rises. We know the cost of living is an issue. That's why we're taking action in this place to give you some relief. I know in my community there are over 11,000 families who will benefit from our childcare scheme on 1 July. I know that will make a difference. Know that, along with many on this side, I pay a mortgage. I'm calculating, like you're calculating, every week about how we're going to do that. But, more importantly, I repaid a mortgage while having three children and working 0.6 part-time as a teacher. And I always paid more than the bank recommended I pay, so I was always tight on the margins. I know your pain, and I'm determined with my colleagues over here to do everything in our power, unlike those opposite, to give you that relief and to build that economic plan.

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