MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE - Morrison Government Main Image

Too little too late. I don't really want to go to the vaccine rollout or the hotel quarantine, which have been botched by this government. The fact that in New South Wales we've now got over 1,000 cases a day due to failures in hotel quarantine is demonstrably the reason we are in so much trouble and the reason it's too little too late from this government. What I want to talk about are the things that have happened since my time in parliament with this government.

Let's talk about aged care. I was on the Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport and we did an inquiry into aged care. We delivered our findings—the member for Makin can back me up on this—which showed the terrible state of aged care in Australia. An ageing population, the lack of resources, the reductions in payments and the reduction in-home care packages were leading to absolute tragedies occurring. Yet this government had to be dragged kicking and screaming into having a royal commission. They didn't want one. According to them, everything was fine; there was no problem—'Let's not do anything about it.' That was until the Australian public kicked up such a fuss that we had to have a royal commission. And look what it found: neglect, lack of investment, lack of understanding and absolute tragedies—thanks to this government.

Let's talk about robodebt, shall we? In my electorate, we had people suicide because of the stress that robodebt was putting them under. They were being treated like serfs, like slaves, in a system that failed to take into account their own specific difficulties, that made them pay money that they didn't owe and that forced them into absolute penury where they couldn't afford to put food on the table. Yet this Prime Minister and this government refused to recognise that there was a problem. And I say shame on you—the whole lot of you. You stood there and you let robodebt destroy the lives of people and put some of the poorest people in this country under unbelievable stress. And you stood there and you did nothing, with the Prime Minister saying: 'Nothing to do with me; it's just the system. Let's just punish these poor people.' Absolute tragedies.

Let's talk about health care. The member for Higgins says, 'All's fine here; look at the great things we have done.' I have petitioned this government since I came into parliament to do something about the recruitment of doctors, particularly GPs, in outer metropolitan and rural and regional areas. Time and time again—as recently as two weeks ago—I have written to the government, through the health minister, about the difficulties in my area in attracting general practitioners to provide basic health care for my constituents. Some of the poorest constituents in the area, in particular in some of the new suburbs, can't get access to general practitioners and, therefore, are using the local hospital as their general practitioner, which puts even more pressure on one of the main hospitals having to deal with a major outbreak of COVID-19 in the country. Yet there's been no response. I think in the end they will have to act because it's obvious that our health services are completely overwhelmed at the present time. But so far this government, through the health minister and the Prime Minister, has done nothing. We have huge waits for elective surgery, and we have people who can't get in for psychiatric care and mental health care, yet this government does nothing.

Let's talk about the environment, shall we? Since I came into parliament I have written time and time again to this government—to the now Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, when he was Minister for the Environment—about the plight of the koalas in my electorate. You are all aware that I constantly talk about the koalas in my electorate. They are the only disease-free urban population of koalas in the country. They will be extinct in the next few years because this government has refused to do anything to protect them. It is a great shame. My constituents are watching their local koala population become extinct. There has been continued habitat destruction, yet this government does nothing. Too little too late. Shame on the lot of you! (Time expired)