What the candidates for Cowper say about the Federal budget

The federal electorate will have a new face come May 2019 with outgoing MP Luke Hartsuyker announcing his retirement in August 2018.

By Carla Mascarenhas

There are four candidates vying for the seat at the federal election – the Nationals’ Patrick Conaghan, Independent Rob Oakeshott, United Australia’s Alexander Stewart and Labor’s Andrew Woodward. 

Candidates for Cowper from L to R Andrew Woodward, Rob Oakeshott, Patrick Conaghan and Alexander Stewart. Photo montage – The Port Macquarie News.

Each candidates was asked to share their thoughts on the federal budget.

Below are their responses. 

Pat Conaghan, The Nationals

Tens of thousands of people in Cowper will be beneficiaries of the 2019 budget through the bringing forward of increased income tax cuts, many by the maximum of $1080 that applies to incomes from $48,000 to $90,000.

Small businesses, which are the lifeblood of the community, will also benefit from the bringing forward of tax cuts to a maximum 25%, while education, health and infrastructure spending hit new record levels.

These are the sorts of outcomes that can only be achieved through prudent Coalition economic management – and it’s all been done without tax increases.

Rob Oakeshott, Independent

We get to the end of another parliament with no surplus delivered but promised.

Debt in the past six years is higher than the previous 118 years combined and taxing at 23.9% of GDP is on the higher side.

On the upside, the expansion of the small business asset write-off and the tax breaks in 13 weeks are good, as is the cash-splash on energy prices.

It appears to be a stimulus budget which is part pre-election vote buying but also part reflective of dark clouds around the economy.

Alexander Stewart, United Australia

I welcome modest tax relief for persons earning under $126,000 per year, especially those under $90,000 per year, in order to make up for sluggish wages growth for many years.

However, there is almost nothing for self-funded retirees and pensioners.

While I welcome the expansion of apprenticeships, there is little to address youth unemployment across the nation.

I don’t see anything that would bring down power bills for households or industries struggling under electricity and gas prices that are among the highest in the world.

Andrew Woodward, Labor

The final budget of the Abbott Turnbull Morrison Government confirmed they have little to offer the people of Port Macquarie, Coffs, Kempsey and the mid-north coast.

We heard nothing new from the government on addressing our youth unemployment crisis; lowering the 2,000 plus aged care home package waiting list; making housing more affordable; fixing the NBN or accelerating renewables and reducing electricity prices.

There are four critical issues in this election locally – addressing unemployment, acting on climate change, reducing inequality and bringing integrity back to government.

With this budget, they’re none from four.


The above was first published at the Port Macquarie News – Tuesday 3 April 2019.

See: https://www.portnews.com.au/story/5991305/cowper-candidates-have-their-say-on-budget/

Editors note: Because this budget is highly unlikely to be voted on by Parliament due to the expectation Parliament will be prorogued, possibly as early as this weekend, as the country heads off to a federal election equal coverage will be given next week in Outlook to the Budget reply speech by Bill Shorten due tonight (Thursday 4 April).

This is because ALP leader Mr Shorten’s proposed budget may be the one that eventually takes effect depending on the election result.

One thought on “What the candidates for Cowper say about the Federal budget

  1. I agree with Michael Pascoe’s assessment of the Morrison budget:

    “The more you look into this budget, the more it looks like a political document thrown together by a chaotic government that doesn’t expect to be around to have to implement it.”

    The ABC, our National Broadcaster, has been cut to the bone in spite of promises. Public Education ,the Pension, and funding for the Disabled has been ruthlessly cut and yet the Government has seen fit to cut taxes to the wealthiest of the wealthy while giving little to nothing in return to working Australians. The NBN roll out was a joke. The Murray Darling Menindee Fish Kill was Tragedy of their own making along with negligent handling from the Berejiklian LNP State Government. There has been no effort to address the continued threat of Climate Change. While this Government came in on a promise of leadership and stability there have been more leadership back stabbings than a Shakespearean Tragedy on steroids.

    I’m not certain on where my first three preferences will go but I’m dead sure on who is going last.

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