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Monday, 15 June 2009
Page: 6024


Mr LINDSAY (6:48 PM) —On ABC TV news on Wednesday last week, under union pressure to abolish the ABCC, the Prime Minister said:

We will be adhering to our pre-election commitment.

…            …            …

I take absolutely seriously my commitment to the Australian people prior to the last election. It was given explicitly on this question …

Sorry, Prime Minister. Your pre-election commitments cannot be taken seriously. In the lead-up to the last election, the PM was asked time and time again whether he would change the private health insurance rebate. Again and again he and his health minister said there would be no change. Never was an election promise given more emphatically and then broken so brazenly. Standing at Lavarack Barracks, Townsville on 12 November 2007, Kevin Rudd promised to increase defence spending by at least three per cent in real terms annually to 2016. He said:

We believe that those in uniform, our men and women in uniform who serve our country with distinction, deserve that level of certainty …

Yet at the heart of Labor’s Pappas review into defence was slashing spending. In the 2009-10 budget, defence is required to make $20 billion worth of savings over 10 years—give with one hand and take back with the other. Then there is Mr Rudd’s broken election promise to spend $33 million on a free medical and dental surgery for families of ADF personnel in Townsville—again, broken. It is the case that Labor keep election promises when it suits them and break them when it does not. The Australian people can never again trust what the Australian Labor Party say. (Time expired)