It does feel rich to stand up here and debate a matter of public importance from the other side which talks about inaction, because, of course, that’s what we saw from the coalition for almost a decade when they were in government. As much they are involved as revisionist history and forgetting what happened in the past, what they can’t forget is that when they were in the government benches, what happened was nothing. What happened was that this country was left to drift. They were not listening to the concerns of the Australian people. They certainly were not delivering support and relief to families and households. Those opposite who get up here with their new version of what happened were actually asleep at the wheel when they could have done something about it.

On the odd occasion when they actually did wake up and think, ‘Hold on, we’re in government; we have those levers of power and there are things we might be able to do,’ what they tried to do made things worse for the Australian community. Their ideas were things like undermining Medicare, the public health system we all rely on. It is such a big factor in whether Australians feel like they are supported and whether they feel like they can keep their family and household budgets under control. Those opposite did not support Medicare. They put their ideological opposition to public health care ahead of the needs of Australian households and Australian families. We know they opposed wage rises over that near decade in government—in fact, we know it was a deliberate design policy of the system. We know that they left us with $1 trillion of debt and nothing to see for it.

After almost a decade of inaction, it is, as I said, rich, hypocritical—there are many words I could reach for at this point—for them to come in here, after eight months of this side being in government, to speak about inaction. The shadow Treasurer and the member for Fadden bring some very recently found concerns. In fact, the member for Fadden decided to take this debate into the realm of transparency. Apparently transparency is something that those on the other side are now very passionate about. I genuinely welcome this because, again, it is not something that we experienced much in this place over the previous term when I was in this parliament; certainly not over the previous near decade when those opposite were in power. I do wonder whether part of these issues we face, part of this mess in the economic space that we are trying to clean up as a government, was due to that lack of transparency on the other side. Maybe it was because the previous Treasurer did not realise that, in fact, he had a shadow Treasurer in the member for Cook, that nothing was happening, that there was drift and denial and inaction. There certainly was not transparency.

Our government is different. We are upfront with the Australian people about these being challenging times. We know that they are challenging times. We know that Australian families do need support, and we are looking to do that. We are delivering cheaper child care, cheaper medicines and direct energy bill relief. We are making it cheaper for people to go to TAFE, with fee-free TAFE. We are putting in place our National Reconstruction Fund to get jobs and manufacturing going in this country again. Of course we are committed. We have done work to get wages moving again. All of these have a direct impact on Australian families and Australian households. We had the Prime Minister visit my electorate just last week to talk with families in Macleod directly about what is going on with them and about the relief we will deliver through our cheaper childcare plan. That will be direct assistance that supports so many Australian families.

We know there is a lot to be done. You don’t get through a decade of inaction and mismanagement in nine months. You just don’t. We’re upfront with the Australian people about this being a big job, but on this side of the House we are adults who are up to the big job. We are going to continue to behave in a responsible way to support Australian families, to support Australian households with cost-of-living relief at a very challenging time and to clean up the mess we’ve been left by those on the other side.

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