Federal Member for Gellibrand Tim Watts has offered up his own critique on the similarities between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Daniel Andrews, comparing both leaders on their health and education achievements to date.
The comparison comes after the Prime Minister Morrison said that he saw Daniel Andrews’s election win and he saw himself in it, during what appeared to be an enlightening and insightful question time in the Australian Parliament on Tuesday.
Reflecting on what the Prime Minister took from the Victorian State Election result, Tim Watts described the revelations as ‘one of the worst question time performances since the member for Warringah took to the dispatch box’ before his critique ensued.
“I want to say this to the Prime Minister: Prime Minister, I know Daniel Andrews. Daniel Andrews is a friend of mine. Prime Minister, you’re no Daniel Andrews. Daniel Andrews campaigned on a comprehensive agenda for improving Victorians’ health care,” he said.
“In my electorate, the Andrews government pledged $1.5 billion for a complete rebuild of the Footscray Hospital. It committed to building 10 community hospitals, seven new early-parenting centres. It committed to increasing nurse-to-patient ratios.”
“In contrast, Prime Minister Morrison is a leader who is responsible for ripping $715 million from the nation’s public hospitals between 2017 and 2020 and $183 million from Victoria alone. That’s the equivalent of cutting 250 doctors or 500 nurses.”
“The Prime Minister saw himself in the Andrews government’s commitments. This is a Prime Minister trying to lock those cuts in for another five years, ripping another $2.8 billion from the nations’ hospitals.”
“He is the leader of a government with a six-year Medicare freeze, which has ripped $3 billion out of Medicare, forcing up the cost of seeing doctors and specialists for all Victorians. That’s not the Andrews Government’s model of governing.”
“What do they look like? The Andrews model are the commitments of the Shorten federal Labor party: investing $2.8 billion in a new better hospitals fund; reversing PM Morrison’s cuts and funding more elective surgeries and essential services.”
“Ending the Medicare freeze, granting 20 new Medicare MRI licences around Australia, including in Werribee, reducing out-of-pocket costs for vital services, and capping private health insurance premium increases at two per cent for two years.”
It was not just health figures that Federal Member for Gellibrand managed to punch into his comparison calculator, with Tim Watts also taking the Prime Minister to town on numbers within the education portfolio.
“It is the same story in education. The Andrews government has delivered free TAFE. It has committed to universal free kinder for three-year-olds. It has committed to 100 new schools in the next eight years,” he said.
“And, somehow, Prime Minister Morrison sees himself in these commitments too, despite having ripped $14 billion from public schools and despite having ripped $572 million out of Victorian universities.”
“Again, it’s federal Labor, not the Morrison government, following the Andrews’s model and committing $804 million to Victorian public schools over just the first three years of a future Shorten Labor government, should it be elected.”
“That’s the equivalent of around 2,000 new teachers or 3,400 new teacher aides. We’ll also uncap university places from 2020 and see approximately 50,000 more students attend university.”
In wrapping up his critique comparing Scott Morrison to Daniel Andrews, Tim Watts concluded that the Morrison government is ‘far more like the Guy opposition than the Andrews government: narrow, nasty and out of touch with modern Australia.’
“I spent the full day on election day at polling booths in Victoria too, talking to voters about commitments on health, education and infrastructure, things that citizens want to hear about,” he said.
“Do you know what the most common question I got from voters was? It wasn’t: ‘I can’t believe how similar the Morrison government is to the Andrews government.’ It was: ‘When is the federal election going to be?’ Victorian voters want a new federal government.”