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Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Page: 7142

Labor Party Leadership

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (14:51): I have a question for the Prime Minister. Given the paralysis now gripping her government and the irreconcilable differences in her party over its leadership, will the Prime Minister bring forward the election date to 3 August and let the people decide who should run our country?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:51): It is a pity that the Leader of the Opposition did not listen to some of the answers earlier in question time, because I can assure him and the Australian people that as Prime Minister I am getting on with the job. That is what the government is doing.

That is why I can come into this parliament today and say that through this parliament we have legislated to improve school funding, to invest in our nation's future, to enable every child to realise their full potential. It is a system that now applies to six out of 10 children—an historic Labor reform. It has been 40 years since school funding was properly looked at. We have worked on this patiently over five years, and today it has gone through the parliament. Yes, of course, we need to strike more agreements with state premiers. That is why we are continuing discussions. I was able to report to the parliament today that the Premier of Victoria has opened the door to those good-faith discussions. And let me assure the parliament: we will be walking through that door.

At the same time, we are continuing to make sure our economy grows and offers people jobs and opportunity. We are delivering our Jobs Act through the parliament and we are delivering our plans to create jobs today and to invest in the sources of growth tomorrow—the National Broadband Network; a clean energy future; and innovation precincts, so that we move from the stages of inventing new knowledge to using that new knowledge to create jobs and opportunity for the Australian people more quickly.

We are continuing to chart our nation's course in the Asian century, including me personally committing myself to an annual leaders dialogue with the President of Indonesia in coming days, because we know our future is in this region and we know that that offers our nation an historic opportunity to engage in this century of growth.

So, whilst the Leader of the Opposition continues with his negativity, continues to hide his plan for cuts and continues to be out there with slogans rather than solutions to complex problems, we are getting on with the job of building a stronger, smarter and fairer Australia. In September, people will have the opportunity to judge who has the best plan for investment in our nation's future and who has a plan to cut to the bone and to bring our nation's economy to a standstill by cutting too hard and cutting in the wrong places. The Australian people will make that choice, and I certainly believe the Australian people will vote for a stronger, smarter and fairer future under a Labor government.