| November 28, 2018

MPI: Victoria funding

I agree with the previous speaker from the coalition. He said that it doesn't really matter how many times the Labor Party want to repeat lies; it doesn't make them true. They can keep rolling out lie after lie but it doesn't make them true. They keep talking about cuts to the education system, when we know that there has been an incredible and consistent allocation of record funding not just at the moment but right through until 2029. We have a situation where we have done away with the Labor Party's 27 different deals that were done in 27 different jurisdictions. Whether it be government, whether it be Catholic or whether it be independent, there are 27 different models of funding around Australia and somehow or other the Labor Party thought that was a good way to go forward.

To the credit of this government, we now have one system that is consistent across all states and territories, one system that is consistent across the government schools, the private schools and the Catholic system, one system that is consistent in relation to an SES model of need, to actually look at the wealth that is associated with each school to make sure the funding is appropriate. This is the system to which the Labor Party should be saying, 'I can't believe that the coalition has got the guts to actually make this funding announcement, put this policy in place and then see it through,' because this is the type of funding that we need from governments all around Australia, and it's great to see the federal government leading the way with this needs based funding that is both consistent to the government system and consistent to the private sector.

The same can also be said for health. At the moment we have the highest bulk-billing rate ever at 85 per cent. It has risen three additional percentage points since our term in government. Yes, it costs more money. Again, there's more benefit in having an economy that is doing well. It enables us to invest more money into health and more money into schools. There is record funding all the way through and yet the Labor Party continue to go on about 'Mediscare'. They continue to put these lies on the table, trying to convince the Victorians or the Australian public, that somehow or other the health system is under threat. The only reason the health system will ever be under threat is if the Labor Party wreck the economy. Then they would have to start taking the actions that they took the last time they were in government, where they resisted putting extra drugs on to the PBS simply because the economy couldn't afford it.

If you want to move over into infrastructure—this motion also goes towards infrastructure—we have a $75 billion commitment on the table which is going to see a continual pipeline of projects rolled out one after another right around the state. The most pressing of all of the infrastructure stories to be told around state Labor is what has happened in relation to passenger rail across Victoria. Whilst the Labor Party has been in government now for 14 of the last 18 years, they like to blame a lot of damage on what happened in the four years that they weren't in government. They blame Jeff Kennett's time 19 years ago and beyond. They have to acknowledge that, having created strong passenger rail systems out of Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong, they have left the other half of the state to perish. The Wangaratta and Wodonga lines are a joke. The Shepparton line is a joke. The line to Warrnambool past Geelong is terrible. The Latrobe Valley is hopeless. And yet they have functioned on just making sure that we have three cities that are well serviced by passenger rail.

What Victorians don't understand is that every time somebody uses a V/Line system, the taxpayers from other parts of Victoria subsidise that. Each and every one of those fares is subsidised by $20. Everybody in Victoria is paying for a train system but only the people in Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong have a proper service.

You might think that maybe the metro system pays for itself. The fare box at the metro in Melbourne pays for 20 per cent of the cost of running that service. Again, the people who live in Horsham, Shepparton, Mildura, who have no public service that they can be proud of, are paying their taxes for the people who use the trains, who the Labor Party look after—a fraction of the state. It's getting subsidised by all the other taxpayers around Victoria. It's an absolute joke. The Victorian Labor Party have to fess up. They have been in control of the place for 18 years and they need to fix it.

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