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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 62


Ms BRODTMANN (Canberra) (13:50): At the end of last year the Prime Minister said he was putting a ragged 2014 behind him, with the focus this year to be on families, jobs and infrastructure. Well, the focus could not be further away from families, jobs or infrastructure today, the first sitting day of the year. The chaos and dysfunction of the Abbott government continues. That was evident this morning when almost 40 per cent of the Prime Minister's colleagues voted to spill his position.

Over the summer break I spent a lot of time catching up with friends across all sides of politics to hear their views on the state of the government, and I learnt that many, including friends of friends who are self-confessed North Shore conservatives, are not listening. They have simply tuned out.

Australians are sick and tired of the Abbott government's unfair policies, its attacks on universal health care, its attacks on access to university for anyone no matter where they live or how much their parents earn, its attacks on pensions and its attacks on ADF pay. These unfair policies cut into our social fabric. They cut into the grain of what it is to be an Australian, and the Australian people are not happy. As we start the parliamentary year for 2015, I want to pledge that these are the things I will be fighting for this year. The people of Canberra, and more widely the people of Australia, can count on me to defend a fair go for all. (Time expired)