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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES electricity and gas. Palmer United votes in the Senate were essential for those decisions. The Parliamentary Library has estimated that the savings to consumers by Palmer United staying firm and ensuring savings were passed on were $1.6 billion a year. Australians are still benefiting from that action. Palmer United effectively reduced electricity prices across Australia by 10 per cent. Palmer United provided the key votes to abolish the mining tax, to free up investment in Australian projects. Under International accounting standards and the accounting standards that apply to all state governments in Australia, capital expenditure is written off over the useful life of the assets. The same standards apply to most national governments, but not Australia. The Australian Government expenses all capital expenditure in the year it is incurred. Why? So they can pretend Australia has a deficit when in fact it doesn’t. The real situation is that Australia has had a surplus each and every year this century. If Australians knew that, they would require their elected representatives to deliver a better life for each and every one of them. That is something the Labour and Liberal party don’t want Australians to know. Isn’t it extraordinary that Australia is one of only 13 nations that has a triple A credit rating? The rating agencies know, despite all the rubbish melted out to Australians by our politicians that we can’t balance our budget, it is just a fantasy. Even so, in 2014, using the governments figures, Australia had the third lowest level of government debt in the OECD. Palmer United led the charge against the 2014 budget and highlighted to all Australians that Australia's debt was amongst the lowest in the OECD. In 2014 we campaigned for pens instead of pencils to be used in future federal elections to mark ballot papers. Palmer United worked hard to stop the GP co-payment, which would have made visits to the doctor unaffordable for our disadvantaged and elderly population, and our votes in the Senate were crucial. I remember giving a speech in the House about education. Palmer United stopped changes to universities, much to the disappointment of the then Education Minister. The 2014 budget had over $10 billion in cuts to social security, requiring unemployed people under the age of 30 to wait six months for the dole. Decisive action by our party ensured that these measures would not be passed and therefore not implemented by the government. Palmer United saved the low income super contribution for over two million Australians, keeping $1 billion in their pockets every year. It is pleasing to see that the Treasurer has adopted this policy and continued it in the current budget; only changing the name to claim credit. We voted in the Senate to keep the schoolkids bonus, saving Australians a further $1 billion a year to support their children when they go to school. It is a disgrace that neither Labor or Liberal party is going to the election with a policy to maintain this bonus for our families. We kept the low income support contribution in which over $300 million was paid to over 1.8 million Australians each year. It was our votes that made the difference in the Senate. We need in this country more love and forgiveness and more compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves. A Palmer United deal with the government freed over 436 children from detention on Christmas Island. We freed 1,500 people in total from Christmas Island. Following an arrangement with the then Immigration Minister, Palmer United supported legislation in the Senate that resulted in 30,000 detention cases finally being resolved. It was the Palmer United initiative which resulted in the introduction of the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) by the Australian Government. This visa gives refugees the opportunity to work and support their families in Australian communities that need labour and people with specialist skills. Palmer United made 15 changes and amendments in the Senate on Direct Action legislation and passed it. I have watched and seen how Direct Action has succeeded in reducing Australia's emissions. As part of the deal, the Climate Change Authority was to conduct, and is still conducting a study into the introduction of an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in Australia. Palmer United kept hope alive for the introduction of an ETS in Australia. The CCA plans to report to the parliament after the next election. xviii The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia


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