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Address to the Party Room, Parliament House, Canberra



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Address to the Party Room, Parliament House, Canberra June 28, 2013

Thanks very much Julie and thanks very much to my friends, to my colleagues, to my fellow Liberals and Nationals.

This week, in this building for the second time in just three years, an incumbent Labor Government tore down a Prime Minister - an extraordinarily grave rent in the fabric of our national life. And it’s happened twice in just three years. An exasperated

Australian public are seeking certainty and stability and the only way they will get it, the only place they will find it is with this Liberal National Coalition.

Not much was certain under Julia Gillard, but one thing we did know under Julia Gillard - there would be an election on

September the 14th and under Kevin Rudd, even that certainty has evaporated. There is the clearest possible choice now whenever an election is held, on the one side, division and dysfunction, as far as the eye can see. On the other side, stability and

certainty.

For the last three years, this Coalition has offered the Australian people the same strong team and the same clear policies. That's what we have offered then, now and into the future. By contrast, on the other side, they are about to have the fifth reshuffle in just

three years. On the other side, they're about to have the sixth Small Business Minister in just three years. We have been a rock of stability and constancy for the last three years and we will be a rock of stability and certainty for the Australian people should we

get that chance at the forthcoming election.

Does anyone think that Australia should have another three years like the last three years? Does anyone think that any credible political movement with the kind of three years behind it that the Labor Party has can seriously go to the Australian people and

say, "Let's reward us with another three years like the three years we've just given you?" It's just not credible. But this is a contest, my friends, between more than just competing teams and competing policies. It's a contest between competing values and

competing visions.

Everyone knows what we stand for. Everyone knows the values that animate us and our policies. On the Labor side, you've got an addiction to big government. On our side, a passion for strong citizens. On the Labor side, you've got an obsession with wealth

redistribution. On our side, a total commitment to wealth creation. On Labor's side, a fascination with the state. On our side, a love for communities because we understand that the social fabric of a great nation is created in strong and dynamic communities.

Yes, we respect the individual and we honour the individual, but we appreciate that individuals are formed and realised in strong

and cohesive communities. With the Coalition, you know what you will get, but you also know who you will get, and you know that with the Coalition you will get people who can be trusted with the future of this country.

16 members of the Coalition's Shadow Cabinet were Ministers in the last good Government this country has had, were ministers

in the last Government to get the Budget back into the black and get our borders under control. We won't have to learn how to be a good Government because we've been one before and I want to thank my senior colleagues, I want to thank all of my

colleagues for the support that I have had. I want to thank all my colleagues, Parliamentary and staff, for the support we've given each other. But I particularly want to thank Julie Bishop, the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party who is clearly the most credible,

the most respected Shadow Foreign Minister this country has ever had.

I want to thank Joe Hockey. Joe understand in the marrow of his bones that you cannot have strong communities without a strong economy to sustain them, you cannot have a strong economy without strong and profitable businesses. The people get this. Joe

articulates this, and that's why, and I don't often mention polls, my friends, but that's why when it comes to polls on who can manage this economy, who can keep Australia prosperous, thanks to Joe Hockey, the Coalition is 20 points ahead of an

incumbent government, a remarkable achievement from Opposition.

And then of course there is Warren Truss. You've often heard me say that Australians want to see the adults in charge and whenever I hear that phrase, I say, "Warren, it's yours." But it's a very strong team. I could go right along my frontbencher and

right through my backbench because this is a very strong team, but there is one person who I particularly want to mention.

We have a strong and credible broadband policy because the man who has devised it, the man who will implement it virtually

Tony Abbott Federal Member for Warringah | Leader of the Opposition

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invented the Internet in this country. Thank you so much, Malcolm Turnbull.

So, we have the right people and we have the right plan. The right plan that I know all of you have been making available to the Australian public. But the right plan begins with abolishing the carbon tax.

We won't re-brand the carbon tax, we will abolish the carbon tax, because we understand that you do not help the environment by

hurting the economy. We understand that the best way to get good behaviour is to provide incentives, not penalties, and the great thing about our policies is that we will abolish the carbon tax but we will keep the tax cuts, we will keep the pension and benefit

increases associated with the carbon tax so they are real tax cuts, and real pension and benefit increases under the Coalition.

We will end the mining tax because you don't speed up the slow lane of our economy by slowing down the fast lane. We will get the Budget back into the black because we know that governments, like families, like businesses, have got to live within their

means. We will slash red tape because red tape is the monkey on the back of business, particularly small business.

You know, it costs thousands and thousands of dollars before you even start making money these days. You know it takes three times as long now as just five years ago to get the approvals needed to start something big in this country like a new coal mine.

We will ensure that this country gets the investment and the development that we need by having a one-stop shop for major

environmental approvals.

We will restore the workplace relations pendulum back to the sensible centre. I want Australians to be the best paid workers in the world, but if we are going to be the best paid workers in the world as we should be, we need to be the most productive and

efficient workers in the world, and that's what we will be working towards under a Coalition government.

Ladies and gentlemen, a strong and successful country is marked by the infrastructure of the 21st Century. I want to see cranes over our cities, I want to see bulldozers on the ground, and that's exactly what will happen under the Coalition.

We will end the traffic deadlock. We will do this by working constructively with the states and territories to give our people the

infrastructure they need, whether it's WestConnex in Sydney, the East West Link in Melbourne, whether it’s the Gateway upgrade in Brisbane, whether it is South Road in Adelaide, whether it's the Airport Link in Perth, the Range Bypass in Toowoomba, I say

looking at Ian Macfarlane, we will give our country the national infrastructure that we need, and ladies and gentlemen, my friends, I hope that in a few years' time people can say of Tony Abbott, "he was an infrastructure Prime Minister."

But there is one profound challenge that we face. It is a challenge to our being as a respected, self-confident nation, and that is

the challenge of border protection. We will stop the boats, and we will stop the boats by putting back in place the policies that have been proven to work.

No serious country can allow itself to be played for mugs by people smugglers, and that is what has happened to our country over

the last five years, thanks to the decisions taken in the first place by the recycled Prime Minister.

I'm not being negative. I am simply being factual when I say that Kevin Rudd is the best friend the people smugglers have ever had. Kevin Rudd gave the people smugglers back their business model. The people business smugglers were out of business

under John Howard. They were put back in business by Kevin Rudd, and I challenge the recycled Prime Minister to demonstrate his difference by doing what's needed to stop the boats.

You know, it's interesting, isn't it, today we read on the front page of one newspaper Kevin Rudd's ringing declaration: “There will

be no lurch to the left on border protection." That's great because the last thing he said when he was Prime Minister the first time around was, "There will be no lurch to the right on border protection." This is a man who is simply clueless when it comes to

stopping the boats and restoring Australia's pride and self-respect.

My friends, we have a plan and if the plan that I have been demonstrating right around the country for the last six months is too bulky, we have a bookmark version of the plan, and I’d like everyone in Australia to be carrying that in their pockets, but we have

a plan for Australia's future. Unfortunately Kevin Rudd only had a plan to restore himself to the Prime Ministership.

Look, I can understand the frustration and bitterness that he must have felt, and that he must have nursed all these years before dragging down the first female Prime Minister our country has had one night and the next day saying, "There must be an end to

bad blood and bitterness." I can understand how he felt, but I have news for Kevin. Newsflash, Kevin - It is not all about you. It is not all about you. It's not about me either. It's not about any of us. It is about you, the Australian people. Everything that we do is

for you, the Australian people.

This is such a great country. We have such potential, but we need members of Parliament, we need ministers and prime ministers who are focused on the Australian people. Mr Rudd said the other night that it was all about stopping someone from becoming

Prime Minister. That was why he had broken his solemn pledge to the former Prime Minister. That was why he had broken his

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pledged word to the caucus and to the Australian people. It was all to stop someone from becoming Prime Minister.

Well, I have news for Mr Rudd. Public life should never be about stopping someone. Public life should be about starting something. A better government, a stronger economy and an Australia where people are better able to be their best selves. That

is my pledge to you, the Australian people. It will be about you. From day one, it will be about you.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Rudd said he wants to talk about the future. Well, we know why he wants to talk about the future because the one thing he can't talk about is his own record. That's the one thing he can't talk about. Labor can't talk about their

first-term record because they got rid of Kevin Rudd and they can't talk about their second-term record because they got rid of Julia Gillard but they can't really talk about the future either because under Labor, you never know what the future holds. In 2007,

the Australian people voted for Kevin and got Julia. In 2010 they voted for Julia and got Kevin. Who knows if people vote Labor in 2013 who we will end up with? It is just a lottery. Well, frankly, it's just not good enough. Our challenge, our mission, our duty is to

restore the stability and certainty that a great people deserve.

We've got the people, we've got the opportunity. I got the plan, we've got the opportunity. I say to the Australian people, if you give us the honour and the privilege of government, whenever the election is held, we will not let you down. We will work with you, we

will spend ourselves in our service and we will create a great nation.

[ends]

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

www.tonyabbott.com.au

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