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Tuesday, 30 November 2021
Page: 11197


Mr BRIAN MITCHELL (Lyons) (16:06): [by video link] Mateship, unity, honesty, fairness and honour, a healthy dose of cheek and an infallible radar for bulldust—these are the values that define us as a country and as a people. Most of all we are a country built on community. We have always been able to count on each other in times of conflict and during fires, floods and other natural disasters. Whenever there is hardship, Australians have clung together. Our volunteers in every field—emergency services, charities, CWA, agricultural societies, sports groups and so many more—have always been awe-inspiring. Over the past two years we've seen landlords support their tenants and employers support their workers. But it's a fact that while our communities have shown leadership, our federal government has not. We're all acquainted with the failures of the past two years: the failure to secure vaccines, which caused a late rollout; the ongoing failure to provide purpose-built national quarantine centres, which leaves us exposed to continued breakouts and lockdowns. But the failures are bigger and go much deeper.

This is a federal government that is rotten to its core and whose disease threatens to infect our national character. It is a government that is destroying our traditions and our institutions and a government that has declared war on the ABC, on universities and on anyone who disagrees with it. We have a federal government that constantly seeks to divide Australians, not bring us together. We have a government that engages in rorts and scandals, a government that lies and tells us it's all just politics as usual, that the end justifies the means. This government tells us that political victory is all that counts, no matter the cost to our national identity and the values we treasure. Leading this government is a prime minister who has proved time and again by his own actions and his own words that he cannot be trusted. His promises mean nothing. They are empty things only said to earn a headline, to be discarded the next day. We have a prime minister who cannot be trusted to tell the truth to the people that he has the privilege to serve. This is not who we are. We are a people who know that our words should be as good as our bond. I reject this Prime Minister's trashing of our reputation and trust. Mateship, unity, honesty, fairness and honour—these are not the values I see in the words and deeds of this Prime Minister.

Early next year Australians will face a choice between, on one side, a man who has proven time and again his unsuitability for office, who refuses to act on allegations of corruption, who never fails to not live up to the expectations of the Australian people and, on the other side, the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese. The choice is easy, Albanese. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.