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Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Page: 11608

Liberal Party Leadership


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:19): My question is to the Prime Minister. When Malcolm Turnbull was Prime Minister, the government had a majority in the parliament; the members for Wentworth and Chisholm were government members; and the government was backing the National Energy Guarantee and was considering Labor's national integrity commission. I repeat: why isn't Malcolm Turnbull still the Prime Minister of Australia?


Mr MORRISON (CookPrime Minister) (14:19): The former Prime Minister lost the support of the Liberal Party room. That's what happened. And I was elected to lead the Liberal Party. That's why I'm here. There you go: it's a pretty simple answer. But, from that day to this day, we have been keeping on with the job of strengthening the Australian economy. We have been expanding our trade commitments. We have been opening up new markets. We've been ensuring that the Australian economy continues to transition and diversify, whether it's through our traditional industries, like our resources industry, or whether it is through our agricultural and agribusiness sector going through to our financial services, education and tourism industries.

In our defence industry we are revolutionising what is happening to rebuild our defence forces from the shameful record of the Labor Party when they were in government. They didn't commission one ship. They didn't commission one penny. What they over there did to Australia's Defence Force, leaving our serving men and women without the resources to support them and the important work they do, was shameful. They failed on their watch to look after the budget. They failed on their watch to deliver a stronger economy. They failed on their watch to look after our defence forces and ensure they had the right support and investment to give them the capability that they need. They failed when it came to trade as they failed to secure the agreements that our government has been able to achieve. They failed when it came to employment creation, whereas our government has presided over more than a million jobs being created over the last five years. They failed when it came to border protection. They failed as 50,000 people turned up on 800 boats.

That is the record of the Labor Party, and they have learned nothing—not a thing—in the last six years about how to manage a budget, how to protect our borders, how to look after our defence forces and how to protect Australians when it comes to national security. They were failures in government last time; they'll be failures in government if they ever get the opportunity again. The big revolutionary changes that this Leader of the Opposition wants to wreak on the Australian economy with $200 billion in higher taxes would be the biggest wet blanket thrown on the economy in generations. That is the design of the leader of the Labor Party. This is a leader of the Labor Party who is union bred, union led and union fed. This is a Labor Party that will take us back to the industrial relations activities of the 1970s. That's not the future for the Australian economy. This leader of the Labor Party is an old Labor throwback.