Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright—Government Whip) (18:27): Border protection is an issue that is front and centre in the debate nationally. In asking a question on the issues of border protection, I pick up on one of the points that the previous speaker raised in an earlier line of questioning about how many Commonwealth employees and public servants would be affected by the wage freeze. I had the opportunity to read a paper recently, and one of the alarming statistics to come out of the Public Service concerned bracket creep and the number of incremental increases in the middle sector of the Public Service. I know this is not a forum to ask a question of you on this subject, but I want to ask if the member for Fraser has actually received any constituent calls, because I know he is a diligent member for the constituents of Fraser, a large percentage of whom would be public servants. In my electorate, I have a number of people earning over $180,000 and I have not received any calls from those people about having to pay the extra two per cent. I am genuinely interested to know—it is not a political slight or anything—if there is going to be perceived fiscal uncertainty as a result of the wage freeze for the Public Service. In the event that there is, I ask that the member enlighten them as to why these measures have to be taken in the manner that they are, to try and pull back some of the debt and deficit mess, to use the description of the Labor leader.
It is abundantly clear that, as a coalition, we went to the last election stating four key policies, including abolishing the carbon tax. We are in the process of doing that, but we are being hampered in the Senate and we trust that the dynamics of the Senate, as of 1 July, will move to a position where we will be able to fulfil that core commitment. Secondly, we said we would build the infrastructure of the 21st century. Evidence of that is that, in my home state of Queensland, we will be investing $13.4 billion in conjunction with state governments, who will be offered an inducement to sell assets and invest in productivity measures that provide a benefit to the state and, in turn, to the nation.
We gave a commitment to the nation that we would fix the budget. Part of tonight's proceedings is doing exactly that. We are making the tough decisions. They are not popular decisions, but we are making these tough decisions so that the next generation—and my daughter who is 18 is currently studying environmental science in Toowoomba at USQ—do not have to carry the burden of debt and deficit. If the hard decisions are not made by us today, she will inherit that legacy.
Most importantly, we said we would stop the boats, that we would address our border security. There are some enormous savings measures in this budget. This needs to be addressed. Scotty Morrison, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, has done an outstanding job. There are some fiscal benefits that will flow through with reference to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. There are some provisions that will come to light for the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity. Could the parliamentary secretary who is responsible enlighten us how those measures are helping the coalition provide a better future for the nation?