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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Speech FEDERATION CHAMBER Bills Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2015-2016, Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2015-2016, Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 1) 2015-2016, Appropriation Bill (No. 5) 2014-2015, Appropriation Bill (No. 6) 2014-2015 Second Reading Wednesday, 3 June 2015 Clive Palmer – Member for Fairfax Mr PALMER (Fairfax) (11:27): This budget, we feel, does not take up the challenge or take up the torch for what Australians really want to happen in our country at the moment. There are so many challenges which remain unanswered. The main issue facing Australians today is what Australians can do to regain Australia’s status as a lucky country. Australians want to know and Australians need to know how their life can be better, how their life can be improved for them and their families, not, as we constantly hear, in 30 years or 20 years time but right now. Domestic demand is at an all-time low. Interest rates are at an all-time low, not because the economy is doing well but because there is no economic demand. Because our economy is spiralling down and shrinking, our people hold their savings in fear. We are all on Struggle Street together. It is our country, and it is our responsibility to do all we can to make the lives of all our citizens better. Since the last budget, the Palmer United team in parliament has, as you have seen in this budget, stopped the co- payment, stopped changes to university, stopped $10 billion in cuts in social security, freed over 436 children from detention and 1,500 people from Christmas Island, assisted the government in resolving 30,000 cases in detention and come up with the idea of the safe haven enterprise visas. We have moved in the Senate to save the low-income super for over two million Australians and kept the schoolkids bonus. When the carbon tax was abolished, we ensured that electricity prices were reduced by 10 per cent Australia wide. We moved 15 changes to Direct Action in the Senate, which all passed, and then we passed Direct Action. We have seen the results of our amendments in the recent announcements by the Minister for the Environment. We have saved the Climate Change Authority, saved the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and saved ARENA, and we have helped set a new renewable energy target. We have fixed pensions for all veterans and ex-servicemen over 55 in accordance with our policy, and we have seen the defeat of the Campbell Newman government. During the course of parliament, we have set up, with the government, three new inquiries: into trade and investment growth, into the Australia Fund and, more recently, into the Queensland government. We voted to abolish the carbon tax and abolish the mining tax. We have recently introduced a bill on the foreign death penalty. We have protected maritime workers’ jobs and proved that the government debt was not a problem for Australia, as we heard last budget. And we are happy that the Prime Minister adopted our policy, once he was elected, to ban lobbyists from party positions. We have introduced in the House of Representatives a private member’s bill to kill off the GrainCorp takeover before the Treasury make this decision, and in electoral reform we now have pens taking the place of pencils. We voted in the Senate to keep Qantas in Australian hands and we have stopped changes to the income tax threshold and stopped the financial incentive to sell public assets, saved Australian jobs offshore in the gas industry and stopped the slashing of university research grants. 108 The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia


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