Media Releases

Another Disappointing Budget for Paterson

April 02, 2019

Following six years of chaos and contempt from the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Governments, tonight’s Budget is a last ditch attempt to cling to power.

After years of advocacy from me and my State and Federal Labor colleagues, the Government’s Budget includes a $1.6 billion commitment to extend the M1 to Raymond Terrace.

I have called for this extension from Opposition since I was elected - which is why a Shorten Labor Government will match this commitment. We understand how important this piece of infrastructure is for locals and visitors.

For the past four years, Williamtown residents affected by PFAS contamination have been ignored.

I welcome funding for the University of Newcastle’s research for a long term solution to PFAS remediation, but residents of Williamtown are relying on immediate action – like Labor’s $10 million commitment to clean heavily contaminated drains.

Instead of buzz words and inexplicable funding promises, this Government should address the issues facing my community – including Kurri Kurri, Maitland and Port Stephens – every single day.

There is no plan in this Budget for wages, no plan to tackle power prices, no plan to address climate change, and no plan for the future.

This Budget:

  • Fails to reverse cuts to schools and hospitals. 
  • Fails to reverse cuts to TAFE and apprenticeships – in the past six years, the Liberals have cut $3 billion from TAFE and skills, and cut 150,000 apprenticeship places.
  • Promises a surplus that is subsidised by short-changing people with disability through a massive underspend in the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Labor will support the tax cuts that begin on 1 July for working and middle class people – this is essentially a copy of what we proposed last year, and they are simply catching up to us.

Budgets are about priorities. For six years, the Liberals have prioritised an $80 billion tax handout for the top end of town over Medicare, schools and hospitals. 
A Shorten Labor Government will have different priorities.

As your local federal member, I will ensure a Labor Government will:

  • restore every dollar cut from public hospitals and schools in Paterson,
  • provide an additional $23.6 million to schools in Paterson in our first three years of Government including $1.2 million for Kurri Kurri High School, $1.1 million for Hunter River High School, $1.3 million for Maitland High School and $1.5 for Rutherford Technology High School,
  • reverse cuts to penalty rates,
  • stop companies using sham contracts and dodgy labour hire arrangements to cut people’s wages, and
  • make the top end of town pay their fair share, so we can build new infrastructure and give workers a fair go.

This is a Budget from a Government that has given up Governing.

Bill Shorten and Labor will deliver a fair go for all Australians, not just the top end of town.

Bring on the election.