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Liberal Budget A BUDGET just days before announcing an election will bring out the cynic in the most trusting of us.

Speaking of trust, there is not a lot of it in government. It is a sad fact we need an integrity commission to hold our elected officials to account. As a former High Court Judge has noted we are on a slippery slope of corrupt behaviour from the government.


The Budget has committed no funding for a Federal ICAC, which was first promised by PM Morrison over 1200 days ago. During this time, the high number of political scandals and the misuse of public money has continued unabated, meaning public money is wasted and deserving people, small businesses and community organisations in Hughes miss out.

'Integrity' was chosen as one of three tenets when founding We Are Hughes over 2 years ago. Time and again, people have expressed concern with the lack of a Federal ICAC and their desire to have such a body legislated. Helen Haines' draft legislation for such a bill has been widely applauded by legal experts as being an ideal model for such a body. If elected I will seek the passing of this bill into legislation. The work has been done. It is only political will and appropriate funding that is stopping it.

CLIMATE CHANGE – We are a hot mess

The Federal Government has committed no additional funding for renewable energy projects, this glaring omission the day before more devastating flooding is hard to process. The floods to date have cost 6 billion dollars, even this amount is seen as inadequate. I find it hard to believe this is the response coming into the election. Are we supposed to forget the black summer fires and the drought?

For sentimental value I read back over the 2007 budget delivered by Peter Costello, there is a section in it titled “MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE” 400 words were dedicated to protecting the environment for future generations. He talks about the serious long-term threat of global warming. This is from the “climate change agnostic” Howard government. ( NB science isn’t a belief system)

The best Josh Frydenberg could manage was a mere 112 words in a 3500-word speech. There was the “technology not taxes” slogan and again a pat on the back about solar uptake.

Whilst Australia’s uptake of solar panels is excellent and often cited as the environmental bastion of adaptation and the way to cheaper power, it is worth noting people living in flats and often rental accommodation are left out of this equation.

I would have liked to have seen a community batteries option on offer from the Government. They offer economies of scale for those with solar to feed into a community battery and offer access to cheap, renewable energy, to residents in the increasing number of apartments in our urban centres.

I am also disappointed to see missed opportunities for the built environment. There are many ways to retrofit homes and new buildings that can lower emissions and improve efficiency. You can read the Architecture Institute response in alink in the comments section.

It is staggering that we are going backwards in attitude whilst the science is settled. The most important response to climate change is the large-scale reduction in carbon dioxide pollution.

Are petrol prices driving you crazy?

In response to the increase in petrol prices, the fuel excise has been reduced by 22.1 cents. This equates to about $15 at the bowser for a 60 litre tank. This will be a welcome relief for some, particularly for people who drive regularly for a living. There is no doubt petrol prices have taken a significant toll on people. There are however concerns retailers will not pass on the excise cut.

Money allocated specifically to Hughes

65 million is allocated for the M5 Motorway – Moorebank Avenue – Hume Highway Intersection Upgrade. This is flagged as a key aspect of the Intermodal design. I am unsure if this comes under the “community improvement” aspect of the delivery of the project. This money was also allocated in last year’s budget.

Finally, how’s your hip pocket?

There is always talk of people being led by the mighty dollar at election time. If that is true, the government is hoping the injection of funds directly into some bank accounts might be lucrative enough for a vote on election day.

Of note is a one-off payment of $250 to welfare recipients. I would never balk at any payment to those who are existing on welfare payments.

Your tax return may well be bountiful as well this, there is a an increase in the LMITO ( low and middle income tax offset) of $420, taking the rebate to $1500.00

I will note that in none of the hundreds of conversations that I have had over the past two years has anyone ever said “I vote based on a one off payment by the government” People do however talk at length about Aged care, the NDIS, affordable housing and caring for others.

You can read more on the budget in any number of articles. ABC website gives a quick “winners and losers” list. Note: I do not subscribe to the notion of winners and losers, it sets up an expectation that if there are more itemised winners than losers the government by extension is a winner. We know this isn’t so.

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