Last month, the government's brutal choice to strip one in six workers in myelectorate of Paterson of their penalty rates began: 11,722 workers will lose up to $77 per week.

Even before that cruel cut, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed that these very people were already earning well below the national average.

In my electorate of Paterson, 22 per cent of households have an income of less than $650 per
week.

That's right—$650 per week to pay the mortgage or rent; to insure and maintain a car; to pay skyrocketing energy bills, electricity or gas; to fit the kids out with school shoes and send them to school; and to put food on the table.

I would like to know, Mr Speaker: how far do you think that $650 would go in this room? Not very far.


The SPEAKER: The member for Paterson can't ask me questions in a 90-second statement!

Ms SWANSON: I am enraged that the tenuous one-seat margin that allowed this gormless government to inflict damage on the people of my electorate is in doubt.

Doubts about the Deputy Prime Minister's constitutional qualifications bring into question the validity of every bill this lame government has brought down.

Every bill that the member for New Zealand—or is it New England?— is now in doubt.

Doubts about the Deputy Prime Minister’s constitutional qualifications bring into question the validity of every bill this Government has passed while the Member for New England, or New Zealand, has held office.

 How can the Government continue to accept his tainted vote?