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Remarks at Cloudbreak Iron Ore Mine: speech, Cloudbreak, Western Australia

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Remarks at Cloudbreak Iron Ore Mine, Cloudbreak, Western Australia August 17, 2013


Thank you for making me and my team so welcome here today.

It is a bit unusual for someone who is campaigning for the prime ministership, someone who is trying to win an election to drag the national media right out to the middle of the Pilbara. It is quite unusual but I thought it was very important to do that because

something extraordinary has been happening here for many years but the development has accelerated massively in the last five to ten years. The whole of Australia should know just what is happening in this part of our country. The whole of Australia should

know that a development of a size and a scale and sophistication almost unprecedented on the face of the earth has happened here over the last few years and if we play our cards right it will continue.

There is extraordinary wealth being created here in the Pilbara not that far away on the North West Shelf. Wealth the likes of

which this country could hardly imagine a generation ago but it is happening here now. It didn’t happen by accident, it didn’t happen because it was ordained by fate, it is happening because brave, visionary people and hard-working, committed

professionals and innovative, creative workers have made it all come true. The rest of our country needs to appreciate that this is special and this is important and it has got to be appreciated by every single Australian. Every single Australian ultimately is the

beneficiary of what all of you do here on your shifts. We all benefit from what has happened here and the best thing that I could do to let everyone of us know about this was to bring half the press gallery here. I hope you appreciate it, do you? Half the press

gallery here to see what most Australians have never seen and many of them have only vaguely heard about.

So, that is why I am here today. I want to try to ensure that the resources boom never ends, I want to try to ensure that it never ends because while it lasts there is wealth, there are jobs, there is prosperity and people all over the world benefit from the

resources that are produced in this country. So, this is good for every single human being everywhere on earth what is being done here and if it ever ends, if it ever stops, everyone is worse off.

I don’t want to make a highly political speech but I do think that we give ourselves a vastly better chance of ensuring that this

boom goes on, that this development continues if we scrap the mining tax, if we scrap the carbon tax, if we ensure that there are easier environmental development processes, easier environmental approval processes and all of those things will happen if I win

the election on September 7th.

Now, I am not going to do as anything as crass as to ask you to vote for me today. I am just telling you that if there is a change of

government these things will happen and I believe that these things will be good for this business for your jobs and for the future prosperity of our country. But I don’t just wants us to be a richer country, I want us to be a better country and this is where I am so

pleased to be in the company of Andrew Forrest and other people who don’t just want to be good business men, they want to be good citizens and like so many other people in modern Australia, Andrew has tried to do his bit, more than his bit, to help improve

the life of the first Australians.

If I win the election there are a few things that I want to do. You think Prime Ministers are powerful well the fact is you don’t get all that much time and there is a huge press of things crowding in upon you. But you do get to choose a few things where you can

make a significant difference. Yes, the next Coalition government has got to stop the boats and yes we have got to get the Budget under control and yes we have got to build serious infrastructure which has been neglected in so many parts of our country but

what I would like to make a bit of a mission is to try to ensure that we rebuild a culture of personal responsibility and in particular we try to ensure that the first Australians can stand proud and tall in their own country and we all know that so much has gone

wrong, we all know that Aboriginal people, their education attainments, their employment prospects, their life expectancy is way inferior to those of the average Australian and that’s wrong and it must change.

So, there are a few things that I have already committed myself to. I have committed to a stand-alone Indigenous cabinet minister,

I have committed to bringing Indigenous policy and administration into the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. I have committed to a referendum on Indigenous recognition and we will start the process within 12 months of a change of government. I

have announced Warren Mundine who some of you would know, to be Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Council and of course some of you might know that a fellow called Ken Wyatt, the first Indigenous Member of the House of Representatives is

Tony Abbott Federal Member for Warringah | Leader of the Opposition

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part of my team and I want him to be re-elected as the member for Hasluck. But if you want to make a difference quickly to the life of the Aboriginal people of Australia, the one thing that can make a difference in a week, in a month, in a year is having a fair

dinkum job. That’s the thing that more than anything else restores peoples self-respect, that’s the thing that more than anything else enables them to live as a proud and free Australian. That’s what we want everyone to be.

So, today I announce that an incoming Coalition government will commit up to $45 million to ensure that up to 5,000 Indigenous

Australians will receive training that has a guaranteed job at the end of it. A guaranteed job at the end of it, because for too long we have had training for trainings sake and if you don’t know what’s happening at the end of the training you go through it, you do

your best, but if nothing happens at the end of it you lose hope. There are too many people who have lost hope too often and I want that to end, that’s why an incoming Coalition government is prepared to make $45 million, up to $45 million available to

ensure that some 5,000 of the currently 33,000 unemployed Indigenous people are trained for a job. Not for a certificate but for a job and because I would like the $150 million dollars a year or so that we invest in Indigenous employment programmes to be an

investment in our future, not just something that gives a whole lot of employment training providers something to do, it actually makes a difference not just passes the time.

I have asked this remarkable person who is more than anyone else responsible for this extraordinary development here where we

stand today, Mr Andrew Forrest, to chair a comprehensive review of all of our Indigenous employment and training programmes to try to ensure that they really are putting people into work. That they aren’t just occupational therapy that they are genuinely putting

people into work and I can’t think of a better person to do this because he is someone who gets things done. He is someone who focuses on a goal who refuses to take no for an answer and who makes it happen. Now, obviously doing something like this,

Andrew has to play by the rules, and he has got to work as part of the system - but if the system is ever to be everything that we want it to be it needs people like that bending it. Sometimes belting it up to try to ensure that we get the right outcome.

So, Andrew thank you so much for accepting this commission from me and from the Liberal and National Coalition should we win

the election. I can’t think of a better person to make a difference to the lives of the first Australians. We owe them so much and we are determined to deliver.

Thank you so much.


© Tony Abbott MHR 2010 | Authorised by Tony Abbott MHR, Level 2, 17 Sydney Rd, Manly NSW 2095

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