Volume 123 Questions Without Notice 28 February 2018 The Hon. Mrs. Hillary CLINTON (Progressive Alliance - Parramatta)(Prime Minister) I announce to the house that the Government has sent a letter to our European Councillor to announce that we rescind our neutral status and rejoin the rest of Europe in non-neutral status. We believe that, after our meeting with the Angleteric Prime Minister, Mr. Sam Courtenay, and the Cabinet as well as the top advisers of the National Security Council that it is in the interest of Australia to resume non-neutral policy. Mr. Christian PORTER (National - Pearce)(Leader of the Opposition) The Prime Minister has announced that Australia will no longer be a neutral nation, and has instructed our European Councillor to announce that on the floor of the European Council. Given that it was her party and Labor in alliance with the Greens and other smaller parties that forced the neutrality on us, will she admit that she got that policy idea wrong? Mrs. Hillary CLINTON No, I will not. It was a democratic vote of the Government within our party room, it was approved by the National Security Council at the time, but policies change. We are in a dangerous world. Since become neutral, we've had several threats made against Australia, nations torpedoing refugee boats, a terrorist attack in London, and a terrorist attack in Cheles, Omnibus. The world is getting more dangerous and we had to end it. We, of course, will welcome the honest scrutiny of defence policy by the Opposition on all sides of politics, but every Government must keep their citizens safe as a first priority.  Mr. Christian PORTER  Then, will the Prime Minister please update the house on the funding levels of the Australian Defence Forces and whether or not it is ready to suit the needs of a non-neutral status? Mrs. Hillary CLINTON As illustrated in Senate Estimates, the Australian Defence Forces receive 15% of all government funding to put it together, which should be around $300 billion, and the Treasurer will be looking at any funding increases we can make responsibly over the next period of Government. I wonder why the Leader of the Opposition is asking me these questions when it was his party that left us practically defenceless and unable to hold together our Defence Forces with savage budget cuts. They shout, but I have several budgets from 2012-2016 that prove that the previous Government was negligent and did not do their job appropriately.  Ms. Terri BUTLER (Labor - Griffith South) The Prime Minister and her party have soared in the polls and have increased the trust that the Australian people have in Government. However, your coalition partners do wonder if this is all getting to her head. Will the Prime Minister rule out an early election and, if she does not, support the role that the Australian Labor Party have played in delivering a solid Government that works for all Australians, and not like the farce of the Turnbull-National Party Government.  Mrs. Hillary CLINTON I do recognise and appreciate the highly important contribution the Australian Labor Party have made, not only to the stability of the Government by joining us, the largest party in the Parliament, in coalition but by presenting us with constructive ideas and presenting compromise in a pragmatic, sensible way. I cannot speak to things outside of the Progressive Alliance party room to any sort of election timetable, but do know that the relevant members of the Government will be notified of any change in the timetable as well as the President. The Hon. Scott MORRISON (National - Cook)(Shadow Treasurer) The Treasurer announced that the next budget proposed in May will be one that continues the economic competence of the coalition Government and will support the credibility of the Progressive Alliance as a third way between National and Labor. Given that the last budget trickled down the surplus left by the Turnbull Government to a couple of million dollars, does the Treasurer have any other displays of credibility and if so, what are they so this side of the house can avoid them? The Hon. Mr. Wayne SWAN (Progressive Alliance - Lilley)(Treasurer) I find it hilarious that the National Party have not given up the fact that they left us a budget deficit, not a surplus. That is a fact, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Treasury announced that for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. They said that we were handed a $2.3 billion deficit. We have now turned that into a $40 million surplus. That is a net gain of the entirety of that deficit into a small surplus, that will continue to grow as the Australian economy and therefore tax receipts grow. Now, let's contrast that with the National Party, the previous Government of Australia. They allowed the revenue they inherited from the Rudd-Gillard Government of 2008-2012 and managed to lose 8% of it over the course of their time. 8%...which caused a $2.3 billion budget deficit. Now, I know that the Shadow Treasurer is not the best with numbers, but that is a huge amount of money to be in the red. We on this side are getting on with fixing the mismanagement by the National Party, who have the gall to say they are the only party in Australia who is economically prudent and manage our economy well.