Doorstop Interview – Majors Road announcement, childcare

Monday, 07 March 2022






LOUISE MILLER-FROST, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR BOOTHBY: Hi, everyone. My name is Louise Miller-Frost. I’m the Labor candidate for Boothby. And I’m really thrilled to have here today a cast of thousands. We have our Federal Leader, Anthony Albanese, here, Catherine King, we have Peter Malinauskas, Amanda Rishworth, Alex Dighton, Erin Thompson, Sarah Andrews. Have I missed anyone? Oh, Tom Koutsantonis This is a really important announcement for South Australia. Really important announcement for the seat of Boothby. When I’m door-knocking, one of the things I hear an awful lot about is the congestion all the way along Brighton Road. And this is our announcement to address that. So, I’d like to hand over to Anthony Albanese.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Well thanks very much, Louise. And it’s great to be here with yourself, with Catherine, with Amanda Rishworth and with Peter Malinauskas and his team here in the southern suburbs of Adelaide. When we were last in Government, we did the Noarlunga to Seaford Rail Line. We did extensive roadworks as well, particularly on the North-South Corridor. This project here today is an example of Federal and State Labor coming together to make a practical difference to people’s lives. Having these on/off ramps from the expressway will take pressure off Brighton Road. What that will mean is a decrease in congestion. It will mean people can get to work quicker. It will mean people can get to sporting events, people can engage in recreation. And it also means safer roads as well. The $60 million commitment from Federal, matched by a $60 million commitment from State, will make a practical difference. I love building infrastructure. I want to build roads and rail lines throughout the country. I want to boost productivity. It’s one of the great distinctions between Federal Labor and the Morrison Government. The Morrison Government have created trillion dollars of debt without having nation-building infrastructure. The last couple of budgets have actually seen, the last one saw $4.6 billion cut in infrastructure investment over the forward estimates over the four years. So, whilst the Morrison Government are very good at making announcements for the election after the next one, what they hadn’t been good at is making a practical difference. And that is something that I very much want to do if we’re successful at the election in May. But before then, of course, you have another election here in South Australia in 12 days’ time. I very much want to work with Peter Malinauskas and his team. Peter Malinauskas will make a great Premier of South Australia. This is an example of him being forward-leaning, making sure he represents the practical interest for the people of South Australia. And I’ll hand it over to him.

PETER MALINAUSKAS, LEADER OF THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Well, thanks very much for that very warm welcome. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have you here in South Australia today, as all South Australians are. I think it’s fair to say that a very significant proportion of our state, if not an overwhelming majority, are very much looking forward to the prospect of our nation having ambitious leadership to realise the extraordinary opportunity that we have post the pandemic. And naturally, building upon your extraordinary track record and infrastructure is something that South Australia wants to capitalise on. South Australians well recall when Albo was the Minister for Infrastructure nationally. And we got things done. Whether it be the Seaford Rail extension or whether it be serious works commencing proceeding on being built on the North-South corridor. That is a legacy that South Australians want to see an Albanese Federal Labor Government build upon. And today, of course, we’re announcing an important policy to achieve just that. Of course, when it comes to infrastructure locally in South Australia, what we’ve seen for the last four years is plenty of talk, but virtually no action. We haven’t seen anything happen on the North-South corridor except plan after drill after plan being announced, but no actual works being completed or even commenced. We need to get things back on track when it comes to North-South Corridor. But of course, when you take a long-term view, and actually think about the North-South Corridor, you’ve got to do other work around it to complement it. And the Majors Road on/off ramp is a classic example of that. We’ve got a major problem in the southwestern suburbs of Adelaide with Brighton Road. Brighton Road congestion is now out of control. And there doesn’t seem to be any plan from Steven Marshall to address it.

We know they had their failed Hove Level Crossing project, which was a complete debacle under the stewardship of Cory Wingard. Well, now people want to see who’s got a plan at this election to do something about it. And between Federal and State Labor, we have a plan to address congestion on Brighton Road. If we can get people in the southern suburbs onto the north south corridor utilising the Southern Expressway, and the Darling Interchange, we can relieve congestion on Brighton Road. And that affects a whole suite of suburbs up and down the Brighton Road corridor. And that’s what a thoughtful plan looks like. So, we’re not here announcing today a little tweak in a marginal seat. We are here coming up with a substantial infrastructure upgrade to capitalize on the North-South Corridor opportunity to not just make life easier for people in the southern suburbs, jut just as importantly, in the southwestern suburbs along Brighton Road. You can’t walk around suburbs like Brighton and Hove amongst others without the Hove Level Crossing debacle being raised. They were incredibly frustrated and let down by Corey Wingard and Steven Marshall on that project. Well, we’ve got something to address congestion on Brighton road, a thoughtful plan, a fully-costed plan, and one that we can deliver in Government if South Australians choose to elect Labor at the next State and Federal election. I can’t thank Albo enough for his commitment of $60 million. That, of course, will be matched by a Labor Government that I lead in South Australia to get this project done and to get it done within four years. All the work has been analysed, because before the last election, we know that David Speirs said this was his number one priority. Well, they did the analysis, and then they drop the project like a gun. And now everybody else whether it be along Brighton Road or others are wondering, ‘Why did David Speirs lead us down so badly? Why did David Speirs and Steven Marshall told us one thing before the election and then do something completely different after the election?’ Well, what we’ve got isn’t just a commitment to another study, we’ve got a commitment to get these done. $120 million invested, 60 from State Labor, 60 from Federal Labor to actually deliver this project, to relieve congestion on Brighton Road, but also assist a lot of people living in the southern suburbs. We are here with a large number of candidates and MPs at the moment. And Louise was right to mention them all. But what that is a demonstration of is just how many communities this project can affect. This will improve the lives of tens of thousands of South Australians. And it’s a thoughtful project. It’s $120 million investment. There’s no point in spending $10 billion dollars in the North-South corridor, and then have a whole swathe of people being locked out from using it. We will address that with the Majors Road on/off ramp, which also includes the duplication of the bridge and Majors Road itself. So, a comprehensive policy. We’re taking it to this election. And we really look forward to hopefully enjoying South Australians’ support at both the State and Federal election.

JOURNALIST: Will you commit to this money even if Federal Labor does not win at the next election?

MALINAUSKAS: Well, we’re putting our money on the table. And the choice of South Australians is very clear. If you vote Labor, this project gets done. If you vote Liberal, then it doesn’t. Because the policies are completely at opposite with each other. We’ve got David Speirs running and saying it is his number one priority, then dropping the project while in Government. And here we’ve got Labor, State Labor and Federal Labor, working collaboratively, presenting a choice to the people of our state.

JOURNALIST: Will you negotiate with Federal Government if it is not Labor?

MALINAUSKAS: Well, the Federal Government are nowhere near this project. In fact, the Federal Government aren’t anywhere near South Australia. I mean, Scott Morrison comes to Adelaide, calls Steven Marshall, Mr Smiley or a Quokka or whatever name he comes up with next, but doesn’t actually deliver anything for the people of our state.

JOURNALIST: How will that go forward if Labor doesn’t win the Federal election? Are you not going to work with a Coalition Government?

MALINAUSKAS: Well, that’s the beautiful thing about elections, Harvey, is that it’s up for the people to decide. And the truth is that if Labor wins the Federal seat of Boothby, it is very much on track to form Government around the nation. And this is a policy that affects many, many constituents within Louise’s hopeful area after this election. So, South Australians get to choose here. South Australians get to decide if they elect Labor at the State election and if they vote for Louise Miller-Frost in the seat of Boothby, then we are almost certainly going to get this project delivered, because we’ll have an Albanese Labor Government delivering for the people of our state. And wouldn’t that be refreshing? I mean, I just think that South Australians during the course of Scott Morrison’s leadership are sick of hearing about being ripped off our water from the Murray River, are sick of being ripped off our GST share. They’re sick of being promised, one review after the other when it comes to subs jobs. They just want to see action. And what we’ve seen over the course of, essentially, the entirety of this Federal Government is South Australia being left behind. And that’s why I’m so grateful that we don’t just have Amanda and Louise here today, but we’ve got Catherine and Albo committed to this policy, not another review, committing to get this done. And that’s what South Australians are looking for this election.

JOURNALIST: Just on getting this done, the State Government had a planning study early in the term in 2018-2019. Are you aware of what the benefit-cost ratio was in that study? And what’s different to then to now? Why didn’t it stack up then? And why does it stack up now?

MALINAUSKAS: Very important question. Because, of course, when the Government did that study, they were doing it on the basis that the Hove Level Crossing was going ahead. See, if the Hove Level Crossing Project wasn’t such a debacle, then what we might have seen is congestion being relieved on Brighton Road. But it was a debacle. And nothing’s happened. They’ve had four years of empty promises and no action around Brighton Road. So, this is a policy that addresses congestion on Brighton Road, because the Hove Level Crossing has been a broken promise for Steven Marshall and Corey Wingard. And on that basis, it’s now more essential than ever. But you know what people want, Rory, when it comes to infrastructure? They want serious commitments and deliverables, thinking about the long-term. Because they’ve heard all the empty promises about Steven Marshall. He went to the election with GlobeLink. They went to the election with Majors Road. And of course, it’s all amounted to nothing. A bit like the Hove Level Crossing. What we’re doing is making an absolute unqualified commitment that Federal and State Labor are elected this year, then this project gets underway and it will happen now.

JOURNALIST: So, what are your costings on this particular project? Because looking at the size and the scope of what you’re trying to do here, and the drop off as an example, is 120 million anywhere near what we need to get this done? How certain are you on that?

MALINAUSKAS: Well, we are using the State Government’s own figures. These are the State Government’s own figures when it comes to the cost of this project. So, if it’s good enough for Steven Marshall and his Government to outline the cost of the project, then we can use those figures too. We’ve escalated that number to adjust for CPI and inflation that’s occurred just then. So, this is a fully-costed program. The work has been done. All it needs is active leadership. What it needs is two leaders coming together and committing to the project. And that’s Albo is delivering. And that’s what I’m offering at the State election.

JOURNALIST: You mentioned the North-South Project. The Darlington reference design has been released. Would you proceed with that as planned by the Government? Or would you make any change?

MALINAUSKAS: Well, we’re committed to getting the North-South Corridor done in such a way that is consistent with the community’s interests, but also delivering the right long-term outcome for the economy of the state. And here’s the difference. I mean, this is the difference. When we think about the North-South corridor, we can’t point to a single element that Steven Marshall has delivered. We can’t even point to what he’s started. Whereas in Labor, we can point to the Superway, which of course was done with Albo, we can point to Darlington, we can point to the North-South Corridor, we can point to other Torrens-Torrens, we can point to the Anzac Underpass. All of the work has been done. See, Labor delivers. And what Steven Marshall and the Liberals do is talk about reviews and broken promises. So, we’ve got a track record. And we look forward, given the opportunity after the State election all being well, and the Federal election all being well, just getting on with the job.

JOURNALIST: Isn’t this particular project for Infrastructure South Australia? It’s a body you said you’d keep. Will this project go through that?

MALINAUSKAS: What we’re doing is we’re getting it done.

JOURNALIST: So, you are bypassing Infrastructure South Australia?

MALINAUSKAS: What we’re doing is making a commitment to the people of our state at this election. And it’ll be up to them to choose. If you want Majors Road to be addressed, if you live in Hallett Cove or Trott Park, and you want to get access more readily to North-South Corridor, you’ve now got a choice. If you live along Brighton Road and you want to ease congestion, you’ve now got an option. And I’m happy with that. I’m more than happy to put my faith in the people of our South Australia to make a serious judgment about who’s got a serious plan to address construction on Brighton Road. And that will be up to them to decide.

JOURNALIST: To be fair, Peter, this is very much tailored on the southern end of Brighton Road. What about the northern end? What’s your plan there?

MALINAUSKAS: What I’m saying is if you can ease congestion on Brighton Road, you solve the problem for the southern end as much as the northern end. See, what’s happening at the moment is people in this local area around suburbs like Hallett Cove and Trott Park, they have to use Brighton Road to get into town, which clogs up Brighton Road from the south through the north and then back again. So, rather than having a botched plan like Corey Wingard and Steven Marshall’s Level Crossing Program, we’re going to make sure that those constituents can get access to the North-South Corridor. I mean, we’re investing, as a state, we are investing $10 billion in the last elements of the North-South Corridor. There’s no point in making that investment and then locking out a whole suite of people in the southern suburbs from getting access to it. The investment is there to get this done properly. All I say is let’s do it properly the first time. And that includes having an on/off ramp on Majors Road.

JOURNALIST: Would you be willing to put this money on the table if the Marshall Government was re-elected?

ALBANESE: This money would be on the table. The problem is you need a partner. And the other side of politics here, the Marshall Government, have shown in making a commitment four years ago and then doing nothing. They’re not a willing partner. The thing about Peter is he’s practical, he will get things done. And I worked with this fellow here, Tom Koutsantonis. I remember standing at the public works at the Superway a few years ago now. What we did was we promised things, we did studies, when the studies were done, you then got the projects done. What’s occurred in recent times along the North-South Corridor is you have studies and then nothing and then crickets. And you need a partner. Peter Malinauskas will lead a Government that will partner with us.

JOURNALIST: Mr Malinauskas seems to think you’re a shoo-in to win the next election, you personally. Is that a bit overconfident?

ALBANESE: Well, it’s tough. Labor have won government from opposition three times in my lifetime. Three times, indeed going back to the Second World War. So, it’s tough for Labor to win from opposition. But what is clear to me is that this is a Government that are out of puff, out of ideas and out of time. They’re led by a Prime Minister who can’t be believed. A Prime Minister who his own Deputy Prime Minister says lies to the Australian people, who his own Cabinet do not have faith in, who continually lets people down, and who plays politics on the 24-hour time frame, consistently, no matter what the issue is. What we actually need is a Government in this country that looks forward, that looks beyond the 24-hour media cycle, that plans for the interests of Australia and has a plan to deal with economic change, that has a plan to deal with the skills crisis, a plan to take advantage of the opportunity that is there from climate change action, as we’ve seen in South Australia. To drive more jobs, new industries through clean energy. A plan for the country going forward for a better future. That’s our theme. A better future. That is something that I think will continue to appeal to South Australians with, but others as well. We’ve got a fantastic candidate here in Boothby in Louise. And we believe that she would be an important advocate for South Australia.

JOURNALIST: Do you support the Prime Minister’s plans for an East Coast base for the submarines?

ALBANESE: We haven’t seen it. We didn’t get a briefing. You might recall, when AUKUS was announced and nuclear-propelled submarines, we offered our support. I went through our proper processes. I got a briefing on the Wednesday afternoon. I held a Shadow Cabinet meeting the next morning. We had a full Caucus meeting. And I did a stand-up press conference endorsing that. And if we had not done that, if it was not bipartisan, it would not have gone ahead. That was a condition, for example, of the United States’ support. And the Prime Minister hasn’t had the courtesy of a heads-up. What we had was a drop to the papers about how there was an announcement about there being an announcement down the track. Sound familiar with this Government? We’ll wait for a proper briefing. We will be constructive, as always. But it’s up to the Prime Minister to explain why it is that on a national security issue like this, you have a drop to the papers and an announcement about a future announcement.

JOURNALIST: Does this mean South Australians will miss out on jobs?

ALBANESE: Well, one of the things I noticed about the announcement about the announcement was I didn’t see Adelaide mentioned at all. That’s up to the Prime Minister to explain.

JOURNALIST: Do you think that the submarine should be maintained here?

ALBANESE: Well, I really hope that South Australia gets maximum employment benefit from this project. What we’ve seen as a result of this Government’s obsession with the announcement but no delivery is, we had the Japanese deal announced and going down that track, and then it didn’t lead anywhere. Then we had the deal with the French. And that was abandoned at the cost of billions of dollars to Australian taxpayers, but also at a cost of jobs. People lost their jobs here in South Australia in the days after that announcement. And the Prime Minister, all I’ve seen is the drop to the papers. I haven’t seen any speech. I don’t think it’s been given yet. So, I’ll wait to read it.

JOURNALIST: (Inaudible).

ALBANESE: We don’t have the Defence Minister. So, in terms of our position on South Australia and on defence issues, we will be properly briefed. What we won’t do is make the sort of comments on the run, based upon no briefings and based upon a drop to the Government’s preferred newspaper.

JOURNALIST: Just on your position on the Collins-class subs?

ALBANESE: The future of the Collins-class subs is all linked to what happens with AU. What happens with the new nuclear-propelled subs, they are all interconnected. What we want to do is to maximise the effort and the skills that are here in South Australia. And we look forward to doing that. But we’ll do so on the basis of proper briefings. And when we make an announcement, it will lead to something, not what we’re seeing from this Government where they talk a lot about defence expenditure in absence of the actual production of defence material. You can’t actually defend the country with a media release. You need to defend the country with defence equipment and with skills. And we don’t have that from this Government.

JOURNALIST: Would it be appropriate for the Prime Minister to announce the preferred submarine option before the polls?

ALBANESE: Well, I do note the comments of Peter Dutton yesterday, which it’s not quite clear, he was sort of dancing forward, it was one footstep forward, two steps back. It was an interesting interview that he gave. Certainly, he implied that a decision has been made. Well, if the decision has been made, one of the things about this Government that characterises it is waiting until the election campaign. So, whether it is defence, or whether it’s the aged care payments to the aged care workforce that will come out one segment in March to some others in May during the election campaign. We have a Budget that’s been brought forward to March. They already have $16 billion in the Budget of decisions taken but not announced. How about this Government just govern? Govern properly, instead of just playing politics with issues. If they’ve made an announcement, if they’ve made a decision, we expect to be fully briefed on it. And I note the Prime Minister’s correspondence that I tabled in Parliament from October last year, where he acknowledged and thanked the Opposition for our bipartisan support. But that was before he went on his latest desperate scare campaign, which undermined that. How about we treat national security in the way it should be? Which is a bipartisan way with considered sober analysis, and with announcements that actually lead to outcomes.

JOURNALIST: Would a Labor Government spend more than two per cent of GDP on defence?

ALBANESE: It is likely that we will need to increase expenditure beyond two percent. I’ve said that we should be prepared to spend what is necessary to keep Australians safe.

JOURNALIST: Nicolle Flint has accused you of lying about standing up for women. Is there any truth to that?


JOURNALIST: With regards to child care, will you commit to maintain the Federal Government’s boosted child care subsidies for families with multiple children if you win Government?

ALBANESE: Amanda might want tee-off here. Because this is a Government that last week did a drop, making up costings, making up assumptions about child care as a cost. Child care is an investment. It’s an economic reform. It’s about the three P’s. The way that you can grow an economy. What are the three P’s? Participation, women’s workforce participation. Productivity, by keeping people in the workforce rather than working three days a week and then being disadvantaged and actually costing some women to work a fourth or fifth day. You boost productivity. And population. Guess what? If you support childcare, you’re removing the disincentive for people to have children so that when people are making a decision to have their first child or an additional child, one of the things they factor in is the cost of living and whether they can afford it. Why is it that so many families, and you will all know from your own experience, you’ve come across people who say, ‘I’m better off now because little Johnny or little Mary turned five and they’re at school’. Why is it that’s the case? Does that make sense? I say no, it doesn’t. Which is why our plan for child care is a serious plan. When we announced the removal of the cap, Josh Frydenberg and this Government during this term derided it as wasteful expenditure, and indeed said it was wasteful expenditure for the top end of town. You’re not going to miss out on Amanda here. There is zero chance of her not being able to answer this question. Have you met Amanda? There is no chance that I am going to go back to Canberra and not have Amanda speak next.

AMANDA RISHWORTH, SHADOW MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT: Well, thank you. Well, I just want to be really clear today that three quarters of families are getting zero extra help from the Morrison Government’s changes today. That is three quarters of families in the system having to deal with the expensive child care system, and they are not getting any relief. In quite contrast, we have four in five families better off under Labor. That’s four in five families better off. I will compare Labor’s proposed changes with the Liberal Party any day of the week. Our plan actually ensures that the majority of families get support. And might I say, for longer. Because, of course, under the Liberal’s plan, as soon as that first child or second child goes to school, there is no extra support. So, Labor has done a comprehensive plan. A plan that supports the majority of families. 86 per cent of families are better off. That is four in five families. The Government has tinkered around the edges and has done nothing. And you see that from their criticism. What type of messaging do we have? Labor is spending too much, not enough? Well, Labor has a plan that will boost workforce productivity, it will boost the economy and deliver in spades. And if this Morrison Government wants to say they’ll fix child care, well, they’re talking rubbish.

JOURNALIST: There has been some analysis that your plan would cost an extra $63 billion. Do you agree with that?

RISHWORTH: Well, that is absolute rubbish. And this is the spin and the fear campaign put out by the Liberal Party. Of course, the Liberal Party has failed to read our detailed policy document, which clearly stated that in the short-term, we will increase the subsidy for every family that is getting subsidy up to approximately $530,000. So, every child in care will get extra support. Then we also indicated that we have an ambition to go to 90 per cent universal subsidy in which we will get the Productivity Commission to do the work on that. We can’t do this work from Opposition. Because the Government has messed this up. So, we will work towards that ambition. And the Government might run around and look at scare campaigns. But the truth is they’ve done nothing to fix the child care system. They’ve tinkered around the edges. It’s only Labor that has a plan. So, if you’re thinking about workforce productivity and growing the economy and investing in child care, cheaper child care for Australian families, there’s only one party to vote at the next election. That’s the Labor Party.

JOURNALIST: On affordable housing, what will a Labor Government do nationally to increase the number of houses on the market basically for public, particularly in the public space?

ALBANESE: What we’d have is the Housing Australia Future Fund. We announced child care that was at the centre about my first Budget Reply. Housing, including social and afford housing, was at the centre of my second Budget Reply. So, 30,000 additional social housing units and affordable housing units. Making sure, by the creation of a Housing Australia Future Fund, that we increase investment in social housing, but that also, we apply support for affordable housing for essential workers. Now, there’s a great opportunity to expand on that, looking at the work that’s been done by superannuation funds and others to provide affordable housing for essential workers. But also, as part of our social housing, is support for emergency housing as well that we would do. We need to have support for women and children escaping domestic violence. Tomorrow’s International Women’s Day. The truth is that tonight, in places around Australia, women, potentially with children, will be turned away from emergency housing because there’s not a space. They’ll sleep in their car, they’ll sleep on someone else’s lounge, they’ll ring up and try and find a friend to stay with. Or they’ll sleep in even worse circumstances, which is to return to a dangerous circumstance. Now, we need to do better than that as a country. And we need to address that. And part of what we’re aiming at doing is ensuring that some of that housing allocation goes there. But in addition to that as well, we will provide for repairs of remote housing for First Nations people. Our First Nations housing circumstances are a blight on this country. We need to address it. It is something that won’t be addressed in the short-term. But we can start and really invest there. Because one of the things we’re being reminded of during this pandemic as well is that the overcrowding that we have in remote Indigenous housing is a health risk to those communities as well. Thanks very much.

JOURNALIST: On the floods, members of your team have been highly critical of the Government’s response. But do you concede it’s very challenging to manage a natural disaster? And what would you be doing differently by now?

ALBANESE: Of course, it is a challenge dealing with a disaster. But what we would have done was, for example, designate Lismore to be eligible for funding, dealing with areas that are flood affected. Lismore has been flood affected on many times. There’s a reason why much of the housing in Lismore is elevated. What we would also do, and we announced this, so this isn’t in retrospect, we announced in January our plan for a Disaster Ready Fund. The Government took money that was allocated for infrastructure at the time that I was the infrastructure Minister that they had not spent. We established funds, the Building Australia Fund, the Education Investment Fund and the Health Infrastructure Fund. We established these funds to provide that long-term investment. What this Government did was sit on those funds, refused to invest in education or transport infrastructure out of the BAF and out of the Education Investment Fund. They took that money and put it into the Emergency Response Fund. $4 billion. And that was to be $150 million dollars each year on disaster recovery and $50 million on mitigation works each year. Up to this point, there isn’t a single project being commenced. A single project out of that. And the $4 billion fund has grown to $4.8 billion. It’s not a term deposit, for goodness sake. It was money that was put aside to invest so that you’ve raised flood levees, so that you deal with bushfires, floods, cyclones, and invest in advance so as to mitigate the impact of these natural disasters. So, not only has this Government done nothing and failed when it comes to climate change, with 22 different energy policies where they’ve landed none of them, and there’s still no energy policy in this country. And remember the rhetoric of Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg and others deriding South Australia for having support for renewables. Remember that. Remember that when you vote in May, the denigration that occurred from a Government here under Jay Weatherill and Mike Rann that was prepared to take action on climate change. This Government derided that. But they also have completely failed with the Emergency Response Fund. And I cannot believe that Bridget McKenzie, the Minister who lost her job over sports rorts, and who will only allocate funds if she’s got a colour-coded spreadsheet based upon marginal electorates, has sat on this fund, and on the weekend, she called it a term deposit. It’s not a term deposit. It’s there to be invested. Labor will invest $200 million each and every year on disaster readiness with projects that are ready to go now. That’s where the Government has completely failed to act in advance, even though the warnings were there. Just like they have failed to act on disaster recovery. There are still people living in caravans in areas like the South Coast of New South Wales, with a fund there that the Government hasn’t touched to actually make a difference to people’s lives. Thanks very much.


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