Mr Wilson (4:09pm) — By the middle of this year the NBN rollout will be just short of the halfway mark. The rollout in my electorate of Fremantle is in progress and we are learning about some of the challenges and shortcomings as we go.
Mr Wilson (4:42pm) — There is a problem with the distribution of GST proceeds and it needs to be fixed. Everyone accepts that there are swings and roundabouts in the system, and since Federation there have been considerable periods in which Western Australia has been a net beneficiary of Commonwealth financial support.
Mr Wilson (10:42am) — Every week my office takes on new cases that emerge from the torrent of issues generated by the Centrelink system, which is in crisis. The cases are new; the issues are well worn. They typically include people trying to receive the age pension, youth allowance or Newstart allowance, or people trying to deal with requests for information or debt notices from the Department of Human Services.
It is a shame—and I say it is a scandalous shame—that no-one in the Liberal government or in Main Roads Western Australia had the bottle to say, to a tired and desperate government, 'Hold on a minute; after eight long years of nothing, surely this can wait until April.'
The truth is that cutting wages is the last thing we need when we face the related issues of rising inequality, flat productivity, and faltering growth. We do not need to reduce demand in the economy by cutting the spending capacity of those who have least, and who spend what they earn.