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Remarks to the Cabinet Meeting, Parliament House, Canberra



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PRIME MINISTEROF AUSTRALIA

THE HON TONY ABBOTT

REMARKS TO CABINET MEETING, PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA Thursday, 30 January 2014 Canberra Prime Minister E&OE Colleagues, if I could welcome everyone back for the start of what is going to be a pretty big and important year. I sense that confidence is returning to our country and my conviction is that 2014 is going to be a year of opportunity for Australia. Our job as a Government is to build on the fundamental strengths of our nation because we do have strengths. They were obscured somewhat over the last few years, but we do have strengths and our job is to deliver on them. I am very pleased with the start that we’ve made and I think the public are giving us credit for having made a good start, even though we did inherit a mess. We now know because of the MYEFO statement late last year that under Labor debt is going to max out at 667 billion dollars, 667 billion dollars. We know that under Labor unemployment increased by 200,000. We know that under Labor we had 50,000 illegal arrivals by boat, but we have made a strong start in sorting this out. I’m particularly encouraged by the fact that we’ve now gone more than 40 days without an illegal boat arriving on our shores. That’s very much to the credit of the policies which the Government had put in place, the resolution and the determination which the Government has shown in saying to the people smugglers ‘the game is up’. As well, we’ve got very substantial savings before the Parliament; $20 billion worth of savings before the Parliament and while we know that our opponents are relentlessly negative, the public know that we have a plan to get the Budget back under control, because in the end governments - like households, like businesses - have got to live within their means. It is always important though to focus on exactly why we are doing this and we are doing this for the betterment of the Australian people. We are getting spending down, so that we can get taxes down. We are getting taxes down, so that we can make businesses more secure because that means more jobs and in the long run higher wages for the Australian people. That’s what this is all about. It is not an exercise in philosophy. It is not an exercise in textbook management. It is an exercise in doing the right thing by the people of Australia who look to their government, who look to their government for calm, measured, purposeful action that will improve their lives. Obviously over the next year there is going to be a lot of noise but we as a government know what we are doing and we are going to get it done. We know what we are doing and we are going to get it done. It is, I can’t stress too much, all about the people; their benefit, their life, their jobs, their incomes. That is our duty to respond appropriately to the people - our masters - and that is what we are doing this year. I can’t think of a better team to get it done. So, down to work, a lot to be done but some great things that we can do for our country. [ends]