The Leader of the Opposition began this debate this afternoon by trying to pretend that he in fact has a plan for our country’s future. He gave it a red-hot crack. I have to hand that to him; he certainly did try to present a plan for our future. The trouble is, like all the plans that the Leader of the Opposition tries to serve up, it was wafer thin and it just doesn’t add up. There were no details, and we all know that famous slogan—made famous, I think, in fact by the Leader of the Opposition and those opposite: ‘if you don’t know, vote no’. When we’re served up plans with no details and we’re told that this is what the Australian people should rely on for their future—when times are tough and when we do need serious governments which are going to do serious work—then, if you don’t know, vote no.

What the Leader of the Opposition is putting in front of us is a giant con. He’s pretending that he is trying to address the climate crisis which is in front of us. In fact, what we’re getting from the Leader of the Opposition is the type of climate denial that we got under the lot opposite in their nearly a decade in power. It’s the kind of climate denial that has left our country in the position where our government is now stepping in to do the work we need to do to build the country of the future and to make the transition to renewables. While we’re doing that work and doing it in the way that sensible governments do it, the opposition gives us a two-page plan for nuclear.

So what do we know about the plan? What do we know about what Peter Dutton has proposed? We do know that it will cost more.

– DEPUTY SPEAKER: You will need to use the member’s correct title, member for Jagajaga. –

Certainly. What do we know about the plan that the Leader of the Opposition has presented to us? We do know that it will cost more. All the experts tell us that, for Australia, nuclear is the most expensive option. Where will that extra cost end up? It will end up in the power bills of Australian households. The member for Cook talked about the need to rein in spending in the speech he just gave. That is a conversation he probably does need to have with his leader, because, if we were talking about reining in spending, the absolute worst thing that we could do would be to sign a blank cheque from the government for the most expensive form of power there could be for our country—nuclear energy—and to have that end up in Australians’ power bills.

Of course, on this side of the House, we are taking a very different approach. We know that times are difficult for so many Australians at the moment, so that is why we have been focused on providing very real cost-of-living relief in the areas where we know that Australians are feeling it, with tax cuts for every single Australian taxpayer and power bill rebates—$300 for every household and $325 for one million small businesses. I know when I’ve been talking about this measure in my community people have really welcomed it. They have also asked me, ‘How do we get it?’ I want to let you all know you don’t have to do anything to get it. It will be applied directly to your power bill.

We are putting a freeze on the cost of PBS medicines for every Australian. We’ve put in place a third consecutive pay rise for 2.6 million workers, more funding to build homes in every part of the country and an additional two weeks of paid parental leave. Of course, this builds on reforms we’ve already delivered: cheaper child care; free-fee TAFE; our biggest ever investment in expanding bulk-billing; an increase in Commonwealth rent assistance; and the wiping of almost $3 billion in student debt. This is real, tangible cost-of-living relief for every person in Jagajaga and for every person in Australia, who we know is doing it tough.

Australians deserve better than what they were served up from the Leader of the Opposition today. They deserve better than a wafer-thin proposal masquerading as a plan. They deserve better than a leader of the opposition who is so deep in climate denial that he is ready to tell Australians that the only option, the only way forward, is the most expensive and the most unviable—that the only way that this country can meet its energy needs of the future is to go nuclear and for Australians to pay more for their power. Australian people deserve a government that understands that times are tough and that is delivering real, tangible cost-of-living relief. That is what this government is doing.

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