Bill's Speeches

SPEECH ON ADJOURNMENT - CANBERRA - THURSDAY, 23 AUGUST 2018

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What I say today is not addressed to the government, because Australia no longer has a functioning government.
 
What I say today is not addressed to the Coalition or the Liberal Party, because they have no leader of the Liberal Party.
 
The Liberal Party, whatever it does today and tomorrow, is irreparably split.
 
What we have seen in the last few days is we see a government and a Liberal Party who know that they need to focus on the needs of the people, but they just cannot help themselves.
 
Now, no-one in this Parliament in the last decade can hold their head high about bitterness and argument, but what I recognise is that Labor has learned its lesson over the last five years.
 
But now the government is proposing to adjourn the Parliament.
 
To adjourn the Parliament would imply somehow that the Parliament does not have pressing matters before it. It most certainly does.
 
To adjourn the Parliament would be an admission that Parliament has failed. It is not the Parliament that has failed. It is the Turnbull Liberal government in this country which has failed.
 
The country doesn't need a different Liberal leader. It needs a different government in the country.
 
The government may adjourn the Parliament, but they cannot outrun the weight of failure of this government.
 
But the people of Australia must be watching and wondering, surely in the bubble which passes for the current government MPs, obsessed as they are with their hatreds and their disagreements, surely they can hear how appalled Australians are, surely Members of this Parliament who currently compose the government must be hearing from emails and phone calls, must be talking to people out in their constituencies who say, "what on earth are you doing?"
 
Now, today we've said to the government that we wouldn't call divisions whilst their party room met, if their party room meets. We've been prepared to offer flexibility to the government.
 
But to simply adjourn the Parliament is the final admission.
 
I said on Tuesday that this is a government which had lost the will to live. But I don't even think on Tuesday we could have seen the cannibalistic behaviour of a government who is eating itself alive.
 
There is no doubt in my mind that the people of Australia think that the system is broken.
 
Now, what will happen if the Parliament adjourns is business will still going go on being business, the workers will still go to work, but the job of government is to uplift the nation's vision.
 
This nation has serious issues, which it must address.
 
The job of government is to outline the future.
 
The people of Australia, those who voted for the government, and those who didn't, consent to the outcome of elections because they believe that the party who forms the government will keep on governing.
 
There are issues in this country which everyday Australians expect the government to answer, and the government, not only is it paralysed by infighting, it is now not even going to bother having the Parliament meeting at all.
 
This is the ultimate admission of surrender, of a bankrupt government, of a failed government.
 
The people in Australia want to see proper wages policy, but we don't get that from the government.
 
The people in Australia want a resolution to rising energy prices and they are not getting this from the government.
 
The people in Australia want an end to the decline of apprenticeships in this country.
 
The people in Australia want to see properly funded childcare.
 
The people in Australia want to see the pensioners get a better deal.
 
The people in Australia want to see our schools properly funded.
 
I hear a few government members interjecting. You've lost the right to interject when you don't even want to be in the Parliament!
 
We will take your interjections all day, we just wish you would turn up to work.
 
What a bunch of no-hopers, when they're actually putting up a resolution they don't want to go to work. The work of the Parliament is in the chamber, not in the meetings behind closed doors, as you allocate jobs.
 
If I was the National Party I would be very disappointed in their senior Coalition partner.
 
And talk about the farmers. The farmers in the drought - are we going to talk about the drought today affecting Australians? I don't think so, because you're adjourning the Parliament.
 
Are we going to talk about the congestion in our big cities and the need to have more public transport and more roads funding? I don't think so.
 
Are we going to talk about properly funding our health system and our hospitals? I don't think so.
 
This Parliament should not adjourn. If anyone needs to depart from this place, it is not the Parliament, it is this government of Australia who has lost the confidence not just of its own backbench, not just of the Opposition, you've lost the confidence of everyday Australians.
 
Shame on you.


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