Rad the full speech below.
Ms BUTLER (Griffith) (18:55): I must say, I'm trying to work out whether this motion demonstrates that the member for Forde is completely out of touch and not paying attention or whether it is truly an exquisite and subtle piece of satire . I choose to believe the latter, so congratulations to the member for Forde for making us all laugh at this motion, which claims that the government is seeking to reduce the tax burden on hardworking Australians. This is at the very time this government has, before this very parliament, legislation that seeks to increase income taxes for everyone who earns $21,000 or more.
This increase in taxes that the Turnbull government is seeking to impose would mean a worker on $55,000 would pay an extra $275 in taxes a year, while someone on $80,000 would face an extra $400. You'd have to admit that claiming that the Turnbull government is seeking to reduce the tax burden on hardworking Australians simply doesn't stack up, if you look at the objective reality of the thing. Speaking of hardworking Australians, what about hardworking Queenslanders? What about the proposal that's currently on the table to change the GST so that my state, Queensland, will lose around $1.5 billion in GST revenue? That's 5,000 teachers, 5,000 nurses, 3,000 police and more than 1,100 firies, if you want the equivalent of $1.5 billion in GST.
What's the Turnbull government doing about this? Is the Turnbull government coming out and saying, 'No, we're not going ahead with this plan; we're not going to take $1.5 billion in GST revenue away from Queensland'? Of course they're not. We've heard nothing from the Prime Minister that indicates he is taking seriously what harm this would do to the state of Queensland. In my electorate of Griffith—which is in the inner suburbs on the south side of the river—we don't want to see a situation where Queensland's budget is cut by $1.5 billion because of this government failing to stand up for the interests of Queenslanders. And where are the Liberal and National Party MPs? Why are they not banging down the door of the Prime Minister's office, demanding Queensland's fair share of GST revenue? Why are the Queensland members of the LNP not demanding that Queensland not suffer this $1.5 billion in cuts to GST revenue?
The member for Forde's from Queensland, obviously, given that Forde is around the Logan area. I didn't hear him stand up in this debate when he moved this motion and say, 'You know what I want? I want Queensland to not lose $1.5 billion in GST revenue.' He did not do that at all. You know why? The Queensland LNP federal members are absolutely nobbled when it comes to standing up to the Prime Minister and demanding their fair share of GST revenue. The Turnbull government is perfectly happy—and Senator Canavan is perfectly happy—to go around talking about the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund, which is great, except nothing's been spent from it.
They're not doing anything with the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund to benefit my state, and it's been ongoing for a number of years. That's all fine and well. You can have these loan funds, you can put this money aside—better if you actually spent it on some infrastructure projects rather than just saying you are going to, of course—but it would be really great if those Queensland senators and members from the Liberal and National parties did the right thing not by their own preselections, not by their own party line, not by the Turnbull government, but by the people who elected them and put them there in the first place: the people of Queensland.
I don't want to see fewer teachers or nurses or police or firefighters because this government is full of LNP members from Queensland who don't have the gumption to stand up to the Prime Minister and demand our fair share of GST revenue.
To add insult to injury, this motion is being moved, claiming that the LNP government is somehow doing a great job for Australians in relation to tax and superannuation, at the same time as this government is trying to give away $65 billion in revenue to big end of town corporates; at the same time as they're complaining that millionaires have to pay too much tax. That's what the context is for this motion. I might say that it's also at the same time as they're cutting $17 billion from schools funding and $2.2 billion from universities funding. It's also at a time when more than 2,000 families in my electorate are going to be worse off because of this government's childcare changes. It's also at a time when the government has refused to extend the universal access for kindy beyond the end of 2019. It's an absolute shame.