Speech: Addressing Cost of Living

Speech: Addressing Cost of Living  Main Image

Mrs PHILLIPS (Gilmore) (10:44): Constituents in my electorate of Gilmore can be assured that my No. 1 priority, as your member for Gilmore and as part of the Albanese government, is addressing inflation and cost-of-living pressures. I know that a lot of people are doing it tough, and that's why I'm glad that Labor's tax cuts on 1 July this year will deliver a bigger tax cut for Middle Australia to help with the cost of living. Eighty-seven per cent of taxpayers in Gilmore will receive a bigger tax cut under the Albanese Labor government.


We want Australians to keep more of what they earn, and our bigger tax cuts for more taxpayers will help make that happen. Peter Dutton and the Liberals want to take those tax cuts away. Peter Dutton wants Australians to work longer for less. Over the past 18 months, Peter Dutton's Liberals have consistently opposed any action to help ease the cost of living. Peter Dutton and the Liberals are all negative—zero plan. On coming to government, we cut coal and gas prices and provided targeted energy bill relief, with eligible households receiving $500 towards their energy bill and businesses $650. Just last week, the Australian Energy Regulator was clear that our energy price relief plan and pumping more renewables into the grid have been successful in bringing down wholesale prices, substantially lowering costs for households, including through the default market offer. 

It's up to the Leader of the Opposition to explain why the Liberals voted against easing power prices for Australians and businesses. Instead, with the Liberals you get an expensive nuclear fairytale, which would mean looking at 15 years at least with no nuclear in the grid and power stations shutting down because they're too old to operate. That is a recipe for disaster. Where will the Liberals build one of the new nuclear power stations? Jervis Bay? As I said my maiden speech, I will never accept a nuclear power station at Jervis Bay.

We've made medicines cheaper through 60-day dispensing of scripts, which the Liberals opposed. We've made it easier and cheaper to see a doctor by tripling the bulk-billing incentives for pensioners, concession cardholders and students. We've opened a Medicare urgent care clinic at Batemans Bay. We've made child care cheaper for around 4,800 families in Gilmore. We've expanded paid parental leave. We're getting on with building more social and affordable homes. Our fee-free TAFE has removed cost barriers, helped apprentices, trainees and students and assisted local businesses with skill shortages. Wages are rising at the fastest rate for a decade, including for minimum-wage and aged-care workers. We've done all this as we've delivered the first budget surplus in 15 years.