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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Speech ADJOURNMENT Palmer United Party Tuesday, 26 May 2015 Clive Palmer – Member for Fairfax Mr PALMER (Fairfax) (21:15): I think it is appropriate that I review and report to our members what Palmer United has achieved during this term in parliament. We have stopped the GP co-payment. We have stopped the changes to university. We stopped $10 billion cuts to social security, freed 436 children and 1,500 adults from detention on Christmas Island and resolved with Minister Scott Morrison 30,000 cases in detention. We have supported and introduced the safe haven enterprise visas. We voted in the Senate to save the low-income super for over two million Australians. We have kept the schoolkids bonus and the low-income support. When the carbon tax was abolished, we stood firm in the Senate and reduced electricity prices by 10 per cent across Australia. In the Senate we passed and put up 15 amendments to direct action before it got through the Senate, and we have seen the changes that that has recently made. We have also saved the Climate Change Authority, the Clean Energy Corporation and ARENA, and so far we have kept the RET target as it is. The government also moved to fix pensions for all veterans over 55 years in accordance with our policy. In Queensland we stopped the election of the Campbell Newman government. We have been responsible with the government for setting up two parliamentary inquiries: the Joint Select Committee on Trade and Investment Growth and the Joint Select Committee on the Australia Fund Establishment for drought relief. And, of course, there is the inquiry in the Senate into the Queensland government. We voted to support the abolition of the carbon tax and the mining tax and next week will introduce a private members’ bill to deal with the foreign death penalty issues that were recently raised. We protected maritime workers and jobs. We proved that Australia’s debt was not the problem the government made it out to be. Cabinet adopted our policy to ban lobbyists from party positions after its election. On electoral reform we have been successful in having pens used instead of pencils. In the Senate we voted to keep Qantas Australian owned, to stop changes to the income tax-free threshold and to stop the financial incentives to sell off public assets. We think we have saved jobs in the Australian offshore gas industry and have stopped the slashing of university research grants. In October 2014, the IMF estimated that the Australian government’s net debt would be 16.6 per cent of GDP in 2015, below the 74.1 per cent forecast for advanced economies. Under Prime Minister Menzies’s government our national debt was around 40 per cent, and Australia today has the largest pool of funds under fund management, third largest in the world and the largest in the Australian region, so we have plenty of capital. With 23 years of consecutive economic growth, labour productivity has recorded a compound annual growth rate of 1.8 per cent per annum while real unit labour costs have fallen by 0.5 per cent every year to make Australia more competitive. Australia has one of the highest entry rates into tertiary education in the world, at 102 per cent including international students, above the OECD average of 58 per cent. High rates of tertiary education underpin Australia’s position as the No. 1 developed country in terms of real GDP growth over the last 20 years. Australia has the second largest stock market in the Asian region and the eighth largest in the world. Australia’s market 104 The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia


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