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Tuesday, 21 August 2018
Page: 7943

Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:38): This parliament has no confidence in this Prime Minister. You know that no-one on this side has confidence in the Prime Minister, and what we also know is that half the people on the other side have no confidence in this Prime Minister. If they weren't such lions in the party room and lambs—or sheep—in here, they would join us in voting on this motion that this parliament has no confidence in this Prime Minister. This horror show has gone on long enough. It's bad for the country and it's bad for Australian families to have a government so divided and so unable to govern.

Australians are sick to death of it. They're sick of power prices and pollution going up. They're sick of wages flat-lining. They're sick of the cuts to health and education. They're sick of the chaos in aged care and child care. They're sick of it. And, all the while, all the Liberals can do is focus on themselves, focus on their own ambitions. Today the Prime Minister is boasting about what a great job he is doing. If he is doing such a great job, why did half his colleagues vote against him today? And, of course, he goes straight to attacking the Leader of the Opposition for his background as a union leader. I'll tell you what, I would stand beside someone who has spent his working life defending Australian working people before I would stand beside someone who has spent his life as a merchant banker!

Labor is united. Labor stands ready to govern, because for five years now we have shown unity and we have shown discipline. Under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition, we have the better policies and we have the better people. And we saw it in those by-elections that the Prime Minister said were a test of leadership. As it happens, yes, they were a test of leadership, weren't they? We have the better policies in tax, with bigger tax cuts for low- and middle-income Australians. Millions of them would be almost twice as well off under Labor's tax policies. Health, education, industrial relations, environment, energy and climate change—we have better policies in all of these areas than the government, because they're so busy focusing on themselves.

Ms Julie Bishop: Where's the money coming from?

Ms PLIBERSEK: The foreign minister interjects, 'Where's the money coming from?' Well we're not giving $80 billion in big business tax cuts, are we? We're not giving tax cuts to the top end of town, are we? That's where the money comes from.

Mr Speaker, do you know what we heard yesterday? The Prime Minister confirming that it doesn't matter who's sitting at the despatch box; it's the member for Warringah calling the shots, because the member for Warringah has right of veto over every government policy. What a position to be in! And do you know what? Next it will be the member for Dickson. The member for Dickson sitting on the lap of the member for Warringah, like a really scary wooden puppet come to life, with the hand of the member for Warringah up his, um, back! He's back, like Chucky! He's back, like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction! That's right.

What's the alternative? The member for Dickson, voted by doctors to be the worst health minister in 40 years. What a record! He cut $50 billion from our hospitals, cut hundreds of millions from preventive health and from dental care. He cut his way through the health portfolio, took on immigration and has presided over an abject failure in over five years to find new homes for those people, including children, on Manus and Nauru who should have had permanent homes before now.

This is a Frankenstein's monster of a government. It has the face of the member for Wentworth, it has the policies of the member for Warringah and it has the cold, shrivelled soul of the member for Dickson. It's a Frankenstein's government—a Frankenstein's monster of a government. In five years they've had—what actually is their energy policy now? What is their energy policy? What is their tax policy when they dump their company tax cuts? What's their education policy? What's their health policy? In the five years they've had to come up with a plan for this nation, all they've done is fight amongst themselves like a bunch of children.

We've agreed to keep it to five minutes on each side, so I'm going to end with this: this parliament, this chaos, can only be resolved with an election, because the parliament has no confidence in this Prime Minister. We don't and most of you don't. We are united, we are ready to govern.