The Albanese Government & the Voice


It is an absolute pleasure tonight to join the adjournment debate, and I want to speak directly to the people in the community that I represent in this place. We are completing four weeks of five in the House of Representatives and in the Australian parliament, so we've all been away from home for a while. I'm really looking forward to the next few weeks at home, in the community, talking about this government's achievements across the first 12 months. I know people at home may have been watching the news over the last two weeks and may have felt a little disheartened about some of the events in this place. I want to tell you that, despite some of the negative commentary that you may have seen reported in the newspapers and despite some of the negative incidents that you're hearing about, this government has been getting on with delivering on the commitments we took to the last election. We've been working hard, day in and day out, to make lives better in communities like ours.

On 1 July, the Net Zero Economy Agency will be stood up. This government is taking action on climate change and taking action to transform us into a clean energy economy. On 1 July the safeguard mechanism reforms commence—again, action on climate change. We've been busy fixing the aged-care crisis, and on 1 July agedcare facilities are to have registered nurses on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to improve care. Our local Medicare urgent care clinic has now been operating for some time. We're strengthening paid parental leave, and from 1 July the current entitlement of 18 weeks paid parental leave will be combined with the current 'dad and partner pay' entitlement of two weeks pay. There's cheaper child care. On 1 July the childcare subsidy increases, and from 10 July 2023 the childcare subsidy will increase for most families. In our community, that's the highest number of families in the country. On 1 July up to 3.8 million small and medium-sized businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million will be able to electrify their businesses and save energy by deducting an additional 20 per cent of the cost of buying eligible depreciating assets, up to $100,000 of total expenditure. That's good news for local small businesses.

We've been getting on with what has been left to us in terms of social and affordable housing. After 10 years of neglect, there is a Labor government taking action on the scourge of homelessness and of people fearing falling into homelessness. That's an important piece of work for my electorate. We've heard a lot of news about what's been blocked in the Senate. We know that those opposite—the Liberals and the Nationals—have joined forces with the Greens to block the Housing Australia Future Fund, but there are other things that the government is doing in this space. We are creating more social and affordable rental housing, and, as you will have heard in Saturday's announcement, we have the $2 billion housing accelerator, with $500 million going to Victoria, to be delivered in the next two weeks, to support the Victorian government's action in the housing crisis. I want to make sure that everybody understands that those opposite not only didn't act in this space and created this crisis but they're now blocking investment that this government would make that would see $500 million go to social and affordable housing every year, and they're being joined in that by the Greens in this place.

I want to finish with this: when I come home after this sitting week, I will be actively campaigning for the 'yes' vote in the referendum. I will be doing so with pride, and I know I will be joined by thousands of locals in this campaign because it's the right thing to do, because it's an idea that is past its time and because the First Australians need to be enshrined in our Constitution and need to be listened to in this place.

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