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Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Page: 6031

Senator DEAN SMITH (Western AustraliaDeputy Government Whip in the Senate) (15:20): I, like other coalition senators, think it's time for Labor senators in this place to move on. What we heard about in question time today was very 24 August 2018. What people want to hear about and know about is: what are the plans for this government and what are the risks of the alternative government? I wish I was on the frontbench, because I will tell you why Malcolm Turnbull is not the Prime Minister. It's because some coalition people want the coalition to win the next election and beat Bill Shorten. That is the reason. That is the single reason. There's only one group of people in the whole country who care about the fact that Scott Morrison is the leader now, and that is the Labor Party, because, for the very first time in a while, the comfort zone that they were beginning to experience is evaporating. You know that you are about to have an electoral contest. You know that. You weren't going to have an electoral contest with Malcolm Turnbull. You were getting comfortable. You were getting ready for government. Only under Scott Morrison is Labor beginning to worry that the next election will be a very, very real contest.

Why do I want Scott Morrison as the leader of the Liberal Party? Because he will beat Bill Shorten. And why don't I want Bill Shorten to be the leader of the country? Because he'll impose higher taxes. He will slow down economic growth. Senator Keneally says: 'Oh! The coalition senators can't name any achievements.' I'll name 21 of them. This is a powerful insight into how Senator Keneally thinks. She thinks the coalition government's achievements are owned by one person. They're not owned by one person; they're owned by the coalition government.

Senator Keneally interjecting

Senator DEAN SMITH: Senator Keneally, when you were the Premier of New South Wales, were the achievements of your government only your achievements? Were they not the achievements of your colleagues? It's a powerful insight into how Senator Keneally thinks. Watch this space, ladies and gentlemen. Watch this space.

The 21 reasons are: a stronger economy; more jobs; less welfare dependency; income tax relief; smaller tax cuts; instant asset write-offs; less red tape; more affordable energy; fixing the budget; record infrastructure spending; tackling union unlawfulness, and we'll come back to this in a moment; secure borders; fighting terror; a stronger Defence Force; more affordable child care; better health care; more school funding; supporting seniors; welfare to work; and lifesaving medicines. These are the achievements of the coalition government and the achievements of every cabinet minister and minister responsible for having delivered on those for the last five years. They're not the achievements of one man—not Tony Abbott alone, not Malcolm Turnbull alone, not Scott Morrison alone when he was the Treasurer—but the achievements of an entire government over five years.

It's only Labor that is worried about the new leader of the Liberal Party and the new leader of the coalition government. People should be very, very alert to the risks that a Labor government would present to this country. It's interesting that, in the last week, Labor could have talked about a number of things. They could have talked about the economy. Senator Duniam is absolutely correct in this. They could have talked about what they were willing to do or would be willing to do in government to tackle trade union unlawfulness—or, put less politely, trade union bullying. These are not accusations that coalition senators make against the trade union movement or against Labor senators, but accusations, comments or observations that are made by court judges themselves.

I'm not someone who wants to spend another moment talking about accusations of bullying in this parliament, because what Australians absolutely hate is hypocrisy. Everyone's performance, everyone's personal conduct in this place, without exception, can always be improved upon. The best way to do that is not to approach it with— (Timeexpired)