MPI - Regional Australia





Matters Of Public Importance

Regional Australia

Ms SWANSON (Paterson) (16:07): The Albanese Labor government is delivering for all Australians, whether you're a taxpayer, a pensioner or a self-funded retiree, whether you live in a city, a suburb, on a back road or a busy road. Speaking of roads, there is so much roadwork going on in Australia at the moment. In fact, in my own seat, and in Hunter more broadly, we are spending a record amount—over $3 billion on roads.

I have been speaking about the incredibly important M1 extension Raymond Terrace bypass since I was elected in 2016. I couldn't be prouder to be part of a government that is delivering this. My neighbouring electorate, the city of Newcastle, is so pleased to be getting a bypass that's finally getting some work done. As you drive around the Hunter region, you can't help but see roadworks. And I know at the moment it is frustrating—we all want the roadworks to be finished and completed—but they are under way. And let me tell you, it is much better to be having delay and disruption than delay and denial, which is what we had for the previous 10 years. The coalition government didn't want a bar of this roadwork. Finally, we have been elected, and together with the state government—and it's a great example of the state and Commonwealth governments working together—we are delivering. We are building that M1 extension. It won't only benefit people in my electorate and the Hunter region more broadly—we're magnanimous in the Hunter, and we're helping to help everyone!

It's going to help the 'city elites', as the coalition keep referring to them as. They are good people—I don't think they're elite; they just live in a city—and often they want to leave the city. They want to drive through my electorate to go to beautiful places like Port Stephens, which is still in my electorate. At the moment, they have to stop at a set of traffic lights, go over a flyover, then go over another flyover, turn left, turn right and sit in hours of traffic. Well, we are building a new road to fix that. It is because we are responsible government that not only has been able to deliver a tax cut for every single Australian taxpayer but also has been able to deliver roadworks.

This week, we have been able to sign a deal with our pharmacists that ensures cheaper medicines for every single Australian. That is really important to the people where I live as well. We do not distinguish between city and bush; we want all Australians to do well. All Australians are going to receive the energy rebate. We know that it is so important to deliver in government.

I think this is where the coalition have missed the mark. They had 10 years to deliver for the Australian people. They had their opportunity. Sadly, they found it very difficult to land an environment policy. Defence ministers—well, there were a good number of those. So, in terms of talking about the security of the Australian people, I think there were some gaping holes there. We are a government that is hellbent on delivering, and we're going to keep doing that.

We're going to keep doing it through things like incentives for a doctor to bulk-bill. I want to give a big shout out to Dr Chris Boyle at the Raymond Terrace Family Practice. He is working so hard, as he has done for 40 years at that practice alone, helping the families of Raymond Terrace be well and feel good about their health. This is where good government really comes into focus. We can come into this place and talk about all of the achievements that we want to have, but when you actually speak to people who have been serving their community you might hear them say: 'I am happy to keep doing this job. I love it. I just want a hand.' That's what this government is doing.

We are delivering for people who are not earning a lot of money and who want a wage rise. They received that this week: 3.75 per cent, thank you very much, from the Fair Work Commission. They're going to get a tax cut from 1 July. These are the things that people in Australia really care about. This is what they look to their government to deliver for them. This government is not just making empty promises. Every day, hard-working ministers and the Prime Minister get out of bed and make a difference for Australia. I'm proud to be a part of this.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Ms Claydon): Time has now expired. Thank you.