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Remarks at Fadden Seniors Forum: speech, Runaway Bay, Queensland

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Remarks at Fadden Seniors Forum, Runaway Bay, Queensland July 24, 2013


Thank you very much Bronwyn Bishop. It is so good to be with you, it is so good to be with Stuart Robert your very hardworking local member and my Shadow Ministerial friend and colleague. Most of all it is terrific to be with the seniors of our country. I am

always delighted to be with Australia’s seniors because you are the people who have built our country. To you we owe our strengths and our prosperity. You grew up in the shadow of depression and war. You went to school and university and work in

the 50s and the 60s. They were good times. You made them good times and our challenge is to make the future even better and we will make the future even better by building on the great strengths that you have given us.

I have to say to you that as our seniors you deserve the very best. You certainly deserve better than what you have had over the

last few years. Most of you are on fixed incomes. You are on superannuation annuities, you are on pensions of one sort or another and as every single one of you would know your pension is going up slowly but your costs are going up fast. You look at

the statistics, I know the statistics don’t tell the full story but even the story that the statistics tell is a harrowing one. You look at the statistics and since the end of 2007, right around Australia our power bills have gone up by more than 90 per cent. Our gas

bills have gone up by more than 60 per cent. Our water bills have gone up by more than 60 per cent. Now, I know that everyone in this room is extremely healthy but it is just as well that you are because since 2007 our health bills, our health costs have gone up

by more than 40 per cent. I know most of you have provided for you retirement which is just as well because our rents have gone up by more than 30 per cent since the end of 2007.

Now, you’re all sensible people and if I was to promise you that government had a magic wand, you wouldn’t believe me. If I was

to promise you that government could make all of your problems go away, you wouldn’t believe me. You are too sensible to fall for unbelievable promises from politicians. I can tell you what I will do. We will abolish the carbon tax but you will get to keep the

compensation and that means that the tax cuts and the benefit and pension rises and the payments that you have had in compensation for the carbon tax, they will be real. That will actually help you to deal with the cost of living pressures that you face.

I am very proud to be able to help the great people of our country to build a better life without hitting you with ever more government burdens and with ever bigger and more interfering government.

I trust you. I trust the Australian people to know what is in their best interests. You do not need regulators and officials to tell you

how to live your lives. You need a government which is prepared to trust you to get on with your own lives and to try to reduce the burdens that you face.

The job of Government can be fairly simply summed up. The job of Government is to maintain national security, to improve

economic security and to promote social harmony.

I know economic management isn’t the only thing, but by God, everything else is so much better and so much easier if we can build a stronger economy and if there is a change of government, that is what I dedicate myself to doing. To building a strong

economy so everyone has a chance to get ahead. And that’s why I am so hostile to all these new taxes and these new regulations. I am a strong conservationist. I am as strong an environmentalist as anyone. We are all conservationists now. We all

know that we’ve only got one planet. We all know that we should hand on our planet in better shape to our children and grandchildren than that which we inherited, but all of us sensible people understand that you don’t improve the environment by

clobbering the economy and that’s why I will always oppose great big new taxes. Why I will oppose socialism masquerading as environmentalism and that’s why the carbon tax must go.

And my friends, the mining tax must go too, because you do not as all of you know, many of you have been in business, all of you

have run household budgets and you all understand in the marrow of your bones that you do not speed up the slow lane, by slowing down the fast lane of our economy.

Mr Rudd said the other day that the mining boom was over. Well, if that’s true, it’s because he’s helped to kill it, with his carbon

tax, his mining tax and his jungle of red tape. I know that history never repeats itself exactly, but I also know that if we can get the conditions right, there’s no reason why Australia can’t once again be the world’s premier destination for mining investment and

what that means is more jobs. It means more developments and it means that all of your superannuation investments start to look a little bit more healthy than they have over the last few years.

Tony Abbott Federal Member for Warringah | Leader of the Opposition

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Ladies and gentlemen, I want to build a stronger, richer Australia, but I want to do that not just because riches are an end in itself. What I want to do is to build a better Australia and if we do have a stronger economy, we can have the better schools and the

better hospitals that all of you want and if we build a stronger economy, we will have the more harmonious society that all of us want to live in. We will have the safer streets and the safer communities that all of us want. And it’s because I’m confident that we

can build a stronger economy that I can make a promise to you, that if you are on a defence pension, the DFRDB or the DFRB, you will get proper indexation at last.

And I can say that we are not going to play games with your superannuation. We will not treat your superannuation savings as a

piggy bank for government to be raided at will whenever the government needs money. It’s your money and it will be preserved and protected by an incoming Coalition government.

So ladies and gentlemen, we all want to build a stronger Australia. That’s what we want to do and that’s what we will do together if

there is a change of government.

Now, you all know that there has been some change in Canberra over the last few weeks. But have you noticed any change in the rest of the country? No, you haven’t. The boats keep coming, the carbon tax is still here and the faceless men are still in charge of

the Australian Labor Party. The only actual change that we have seen since the Prime Ministership changed in Canberra is that hundreds of people have lost their jobs in the motor leasing industry because of another bit of policy on the run by Prime Minister

Kevin Rudd. He hasn’t changed ladies and gentlemen. He is still the same person who was sacked for incompetence by his own colleagues three years ago. He’s the same person that fully one third of the Cabinet refused to serve with when he became the

leader just a few weeks ago.

Now, I’m always prepared to give people the benefit of the doubt. I’m always prepared to give people a fair go but if those who know him best don’t trust him, why should the Australian people?

As I said at the beginning, each one of you has helped to build the great country that we enjoy. You have helped to build a great

country. I am grateful. Stuart is grateful and Bronny’s not grateful, she’s just proud because she’s one of you and she’s helped to do the building.

I am grateful but your task has not ended. You are still Australians and you’ve still got plenty of life and the important thing is to

make our country even better. As I said at the beginning, we can’t work miracles, but we can work hard. We can do everything we can to ensure that this country is at its best and that our people are their best selves and I want to say to you, my friends, there is

almost nothing wrong with this country that would not be improved by a change of government. That’s what we’re working towards, a change of government so that a great country and a great people can have the better government that we all deserve.

Thank you very much.


© Tony Abbott MHR 2010 | Authorised by Tony Abbott MHR, Level 2, 17 Sydney Rd, Manly NSW 2095

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