But the people in WA are cottoning on to this government. They know there's a solution. It doesn't involve rushing off the cliff like a pack of lemmings. It doesn't involve seceding from the Commonwealth or abolishing the minimum wage or halving foreign aid, or all of the other brilliant ideas that come out of the conference. It involves changing the government and electing a Shorten Labor government.
WA accounts for 11 per cent of the population and 33 per cent of the Australian landmass. Our state manages the costs and the logistical challenges of remoteness on an unprecedented scale. It needs to be supported, especially in a time of sharp economic downturn, but we've not yet received a fair or proportionate investment from the Abbott-Turnbull government.
Mr Wilson (4:06pm) — There is no social or economic argument for cutting penalty rates and for taking money out of the pockets of workers who tend to be part time and low paid, workers who are more often young and more often women.
Since the government came into office in 2013, Australia has dropped from 19th to 46th in the Global gender gap report. We have a high and enduring gender pay gap. It is higher in my state of Western Australia than anywhere else in the country.
There are great challenges in this nation. Labor does what it can, and has done a remarkable job in recent times of tackling some of those enormous areas. But we cannot have the government spend four, five or six years spinning wheels and indulging in political game playing, trying to shark the credit for the things that Labor governments have done...