The coalition are not far off finishing their fifth year in government, and we have seen them deliver their fifth budget. Strip away the fluff and the blowhard noises and we find yet another attempt by the coalition to trick Australians into believing that the Turnbull government cares about anyone other than the top end of town. I have some bad news for you, Treasurer Morrison and Prime Minister Turnbull: I have worked you out, the Labor Party has worked you out, and I think the people of Australia have worked you out. We remember your debt and deficit disaster, yet the government's fiscal strategy unveiled in 2014 is failing completely. We see federal government debt has surged from $310 billion in 2014 to $534 billion this year.
So while the Turnbull government pretend to be competent economic managers, we are onto you. Under this mob, we've seen a worsening of the budget's position, and it's all built on a foundation of unfairness. I have a lesson for the government: fairness isn't just a rhetorical device you get to dish out when it suits you politically; it's actually a set of values—a belief that informs every decision you make. Australians know that this out-of-touch government doesn't care about fairness for working Australians and their families, for jobseekers, for pensioners or for students.
Before we heard all the hoopla and rhetoric from the Treasurer, I sat down and wrote a speech about what I knew the government would forget to put in Tuesday night's budget. I sealed it, and I have brought it with me tonight. I will now unseal the envelope and see how I went.
In this budget, the Turnbull government missed the chance to restore the $17 billion cut from Australian schools. 'Is that correct?' I ask the member for Blair. Yes, of course it is. Here's the bottom line: it's simple; Labor will restore every cent. Of this funding we'll restore, nearly 90 per cent will go to public schools, the schools that are doing most of the heavy lifting. In my electorate of Moreton, $15 million has been ripped from public schools, and this budget will not restore it. Shame! These cuts will mean fewer teachers and support staff, less one-on-one attention for children and less help with the basics like reading, writing and maths. The Turnbull government are economic vandals masquerading as economists. They want to talk about how the economy works for big business, but how does our economy work for everyone if our kids can't get a decent education? It's short-sighted and ignores the productivity gains that flow from investing in education.
I wonder how health went. In this budget, the Turnbull government have missed the opportunity to ensure health care remains affordable for all Australians—check. They're continuing to put at risk our universal healthcare system. Alongside GPs, Australia's public hospitals are the workhorses of our health system. In my electorate of Moreton we have the QEII hospital and, sitting over the border, the Princess Alexandra Hospital. On Tuesday night, the Treasurer failed to restore the $160 million the government have ripped from Queensland's hospitals, including from the QEII and the PAH. The cut is the equivalent of 240,000 emergency department visits, 44,000 cataract extractions, 6,150 knee replacements or 26,500 births. The omission from the budget will affect every Queenslander and every Queensland family.
This budget again failed to fund Cross River Rail—check—a critical piece of infrastructure for all who live in South East Queensland. The existing inner city rail crossing over the Brisbane River, the Merivale Bridge, is at full capacity; we all know that. The federal Labor Party committed $2.24 billion to partner with the Queensland Labor government to get this project done. On Tuesday night, the government failed to take up our offer of bipartisanship to deliver this critical congestion-busting public transport infrastructure that will serve Queenslanders.
There was no mention of the Coopers Plains rail crossing. I recently wrote to Prime Minister Turnbull and urged him to find money in the budget to commit to a solution for the Coopers Plains level crossing mess. Last night, that fell on deaf ears, and the government missed another piece of critical infrastructure for southsiders. There are real safety concerns and major traffic congestion. This crossing is used by as many as 1,000 vehicles an hour in peak periods. In the absence of leadership from the Turnbull government, I will continue to work with the state government and the Brisbane City Council to get this dangerous mess sorted. Prime Minister, you are still welcome to join me. It is something that was highlighted by the former member for Moreton, Gary Hardgrave, in 1998.
So how did I go? It's not hard to guess what's going to be in a budget from a government that is so committed to delivering for the top end of town and that has a track record of ignoring middle- and working-class Australians. Labor will continue to fight for as long as necessary to get working Australians, families, young people, jobseekers and pensioners a better deal and help create a fairer, more egalitarian Australia.