Member for Mallee Andrew Broad admits Federal Government budget blunders

Member for Mallee Andrew Broad. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

Member for Mallee Andrew Broad. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

MEMBER for Mallee Andrew Broad has admitted some of the Federal Government’s budget measures were not well thought out, in the wake of the major changes to key reforms.

Speaking at a meeting of the Wimmera Association of Independent Retirees on Wednesday, Mr Broad covered a range of issues including the war on terror, communications, immigration and transport.

“Even I look at some of the ideas that come forward as a little bit harsh or direct that did need to have some adjustment to them,” he said.

“We are starting to see some changes where we are getting those reforms through.

“Some of the reforms that haven’t been as well-thought out as they should, they are having to be adjusted and that’s how a senate should work.

“Not everything our side does it right 100 per cent of the time.”

Earlier this week, the Federal Government scrapped plans to force jobseekers to apply for 40 jobs a month, lowering the requirement to 20.

Mr Broad has previously spoken out against the measure and told the Mail-Times in July the requirement was ridiculous and too high.

Speaking about Australia’s military action against Islamic State, Mr Broad said it had increased Australia’s chances of becoming a target for terrorist attacks.

“We weren’t going to stand by and watch 50,000 people slaughtered,” he said.

“Has that made us more at risk as a community? Probably.

“The muslim community has got to take ownership of this too, they’ve got to stand up and say ‘no, this is not on’.”

He credited Indonesia for taking a strong stance against Islamic terrorists.

“These are not easy decisions and not decisions that have been taken to get people’s minds off the budget,” he said. 

“Honestly, 50,000 people getting killed – we didn’t set that up so people would forget about the budget.” 

Mr Broad criticised the state’s governing body for muslims.

“The Islamic Council of Victoria has been weak in my opinion – they’ve been very poor in their response,” he said.

“We need to make sure the muslim community does take a stance.”

Mr Broad also consolidated his position on which part of the electorate he would lobby the government for a share of the $100,000 mobile blackspot program.

While he previously nominated six places in the electorate to receive funding, he told retirees association members that two spots in the northern Grampians, including the Wartook Valley, were priorities.

He said he expected infrastructure building work to start in the second half of next year.

On immigration, Mr Broad said the move to reintroduce temporary protection visas was a good outcome from negotiations with Clive Palmer.

“Without the senate, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison probably would not have moved on that so I think it’s an improvement on what was originally proposed,” he said.

During the speech Mr Broad also channelled former Prime Minister Paul Keating, referring to people in the Wimmera and Mallee as the true believers.

“I’m part of the Coalition and if you look where their seats are, the Greens represent the richest people in the economy, the Liberals represent more of the middle-class and the National Party represents by nature rural Australia – people with lower earning capacity,” he said. 

“They are the true believers, they understand how business works and how the country should run.”

He canvassed the possibility of a passenger rail service to Horsham, but stressed it would need State Government investment.

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