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Address at the opening of Liberal House, Queanbeyan.

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Fri, 20th November 2009


The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

Leader of the Opposition


Stephen Beer, President of the FEC, Senator Bill Heffernan, the patron senator, my parliamentary colleagues -

there’s Alby and Gary Humphries and Connie Fierravanti-Wells. Any other of our parliamentary team here?

Bronwyn, there you are. Good to see you. And Chris Back, Senator Chris Back. There’s a lot of support. Senator

Trood, Russell Trood, that’s good. Any others of our team? Good, right, we’ve got them all.

Now thank you all for being here and above all thank you very much to the people of Eden-Monaro, of

Queanbeyan, for being here supporting Bill and all of us in opening this office. There was a time when Eden-Monaro was represented by a man who had a deep commitment to this community and worked tirelessly for the

people of this community, and he is here today. His name is Gary Nairn.

Eden-Monaro does not have a representative like that any more, but that will change. We will endorse in due

course a candidate that will carry Gary’s values forward of commitment above all to the local community,

because all politics is local and the best representatives, whether they are arguing cases at the national level or

dealing with local constituency matters, have their feet firmly planted in the ground of their local community,

understanding the needs of every community, every suburb, every family that they represent. And that is the

calibre of the leadership that we will once again bring to Eden-Monaro at the next election. Now we need your

support to do that. You are here in great numbers and we thank you for that.

It is hot, as Stephen said, so I won’t go on any longer other than to say this: Australia desperately needs a

change of government, just as Eden-Monaro needs a change of representation. We have got a Prime Minister

whose policies are failing one after the other. The catastrophic failure on border protection policy is as

devastating to our national security as his persistent refusal to tell the truth about it is incredible.

Yesterday in the Parliament we moved a censure motion censuring him for his failure and I particularly sought to

censure him for his refusal to admit the truth, which is that a special deal was offered to the people on the

Oceanic Viking. He had objected to some criticism of him in The Australian newspaper a few days before on the

basis that it was a right wing newspaper, so he had great pleasure to read exactly the same criticism from the

ABC and The Age itself, which not many people would regard as a right wing newspaper. So the fact is the Prime

Minister on this issue is believed by nobody, and that is because his policy has comprehensively failed.

And of course it’s not just on border protection. What about hospitals? He was going to fix them, remember that?

He was going to fix them and if he hadn’t fixed them by the 30th June, he would take them over. Well he has

done neither. This guy is all spin. We know it, the Australian people are beginning to recognise this is a

government of spin not of substance. It deserves better. With your support we will deliver a better government to

Australia after the next election, which will include in that team a Liberal Member for Eden-Monaro.

Thank you very much for your support today.