Mr FITZGIBBON (Hunter) (13:37): The second anniversary of the election of the Abbott government was a celebration for no-one nowhere.
And nowhere was that more true than in rural and regional Australia where the coalition's unfair and irrational budget cuts have hit hardest. Since the election of this government, country Australia has gone backwards. Unemployment is up, apprenticeships and other training opportunities are in decline, spatial inequality is growing, and our local councils are poorer due to cuts in Financial Assistance Grants.
When governments cut health funding, cut GP rebates, cut childcare funding, cut schools funding, cut higher education funding, cut unemployment and training assistance, cut local government grants, cut ABC funding, cut Landcare funding, cut funding for community support groups, and increase university fees, those measures hit hardest on rural and regional Australia. They fall disproportionately and adversely upon rural and regional Australia. But this is what this conservative government has done over the course of the last two years, without any concern for people living outside of our capital cities and without any fight from any of those National Party MPs and Liberals representing rural seats on that side lifting a finger to assist their constituents. We will hold the member for Riverina to account. We will hold all those members to account on that side who have done nothing for their electorate.