The most expensive and elaborate Work for the Dole program in this country is the one that supports the 21 National Party MPs and senators in this place. They turn up, they collect their pay, but they don't do their job. For the last few years, they've been telling everybody who'd listen that they're for the farmer and against the supermarket, for the battler and against the banks, for the worker and against the occupants of the harbour-side mansion.
But, yesterday, they came in here and cheered as the Treasurer delivered a budget which is delivering $80 billion worth of tax cuts for the big end of town. This is the mob that says they're for the battlers.
There are over 10,000 mobile phone blackspots in this country on their database. Right across the parliament, you've got MPs calling out for more money to fund mobile phone towers throughout regional Australia. But, last night, they virtually gave up the ghost and abandoned the program. They talk about the importance of infrastructure, but, if you look in the budget, there's not one new dollar for infrastructure throughout the country.
It's not all been bad news, however. They've been campaigning for decentralisation, and the good news is they've managed to see the shift of the Indigenous Affairs Group Regional Network from Sydney to Parramatta.