Bill's Speeches

MOTION TO SUSPEND STANDING ORDERS

SPEECH

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, CANBERRA

 

MOTION TO SUSPEND STANDING ORDERS

MONDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2015

16 months ago, the Prime Minister promised Australian voters a stable, mature and adult Government. What has happened?

There have been many promises broken by this Government but the promise to run a stable and mature Government is arguably the biggest broken promise of this sad Government's last 17 months.

The Australian people, unlike the parallel universe the Government inhabits, have watched with amazement in the last few weeks and days as the once great Liberal Party huffs and puffs its way up to a leadership spill.

Australians know this Government is not working for them. And I say to the Liberal backbenchers of this Government and the Liberal frontbenchers; it doesn’t matter who you choose.

The problem is not the sales person, the problem is what you are selling people.

As for the Member for Wentworth, we just heard from, never has a Member wanted so much yet would do so little to get the position.

He, the Zorro of the despatch box, he has said that he wants the job but he won't fight for the job.

He is prepared to injure his Prime Minister but he leaves his supporters hanging.

He is a veritable ball of ambivalence, but this is not new in his political career. For two long excruciating decades, we were with the Hamlet of the Liberal Party. To be Labor or to be Liberal, that is the question.

Oh yes we like Neville, but in the end John Howard, he had a better chance of beating Kim Beazley, so lucky Liberal Party, the moral, the ball of ambivalence chose the Liberals.

And then what did he do when he came to Parliament? He stalked poor old Brendan Nelson. What did Brendon Nelson ever do to deserve Malcolm Turnbull stalking him?

But of course the Member for Wentworth angsting on the spill motion over the weekend, he is able to be conned by Godwin Grech, we’ll never forget that.

And then he couldn’t even come to terms with Nick Minchin and there, the man who would be if he could be, got beaten by Tony Abbott, not once, not twice, but time and time again.

[interruption]

Take the point of order from the Member for Hedging Your Bets.

I was going to come to the Prime Minister. You know, I don't often agree with Tony’s, with the Prime Minister's policies, in fact I very rarely do. But I felt a little bit on Tony Abbott's point of view today. I mean he’s not as articulate as the Member for Wentworth but he’s a bundle of fight, our Prime Minister. He is superglued to that seat, Member for Wentworth, and you are going to have on to blast him out.

I admit our Member, our Prime Minister, he is a lot of energy. He runs around constantly biting his own tail but at least he knows how to fight for something, Member for Wentworth.

And the real shame of this debacle today, the real shame today, is it is not who leads the Liberal Party, it’s we’ve heard not a word of repentance from the Government about their unfair Budget.

Australians sat there, perhaps waiting to see the outcome of the spill that never was, but they waited to see any humility from any member of the Government. But see the Minister for Finance let it out of the bag yesterday on Insiders. The interviewer asked the Minister for Finance "did any Minister ever complain to you, the Finance Minister, that the Budget was unfair?" And the Minister for Finance said, "Not a one, not a one”.

So although some of them, some of them may seek to blame Prince Phillip and the Knighthood; some of them may seek to blame the absent-mindedness of Australian voters; some of them may seek to say that it is the internet or social media; some of them may care to say that if only people understood what they were selling, then things would be better.

Wrong, wrong and wrong again people.

The problem with this Government is you brought down a Budget which broke all the promises you said you would do. They broke their promises. No new taxes; tell that to the people paying new taxes. No cuts to education; tell that to the states losing their funding for schools. Remember the promise about no changes to health? Tell that to the people paying the GP Tax. This nation doesn't need a new Liberal leader, it needs a new Government.

You know the Australian people are resilient despite this circus that those opposite are doing. People going to work every day, small businesses investing, young people studying and working in the restaurants, working hard. You’ve got the nurses caring for the sick and the infirm. You’ve got a lot of people out there in Australia pulling pretty hard, and what you’ve got though is you have a nation of lifters being led by a Government of leaners, and that is the problem in this country.

In the last two, three, six, 18 months, we have seen this Government fail time and time again. What this Government won't admit is it is not the opinion polls which really matter here, it is that what you have is that you’ve got a Government who won't admit that their Budget has beaten them.

Forget the embroidery of the Australia Day announcement, forget the embroidery of Knights and Dames. That shows we have a Prime Minister with a romantic urge for the 1950s, that’s life.

It is not the political ineptitude of the Government which I worry about, it is their wrong priorities for the nation. They’re more interested in Buckingham Palace than Beijing. They’re more interested in forcing down an unfair Budget, cutting opportunity, cutting hope.

If this Government wants to learn anything over the last 18 months, we give you this advice - don't cut the pensions; don't cut Medicare; don't introduce a GP Tax; do not introduce $100,000 degrees.

And while you're at it, why don't you build the Navy submarines in Australia like you promised to? And while you're at it, and while you're at it here is some other positive ideas from Labor – maybe we could have a mature debate about becoming a Republic in this country? And while we're at it why don't we do something meaningful on climate change, like the on again, off again Member for Wentworth believes.

Well he believed it then but of course we know and Australia knows that in order for the Member for Wentworth to blast the Prime Minister from his seat, he has to sell out whatever views he had on climate change.

So what we see now, what we see now is a Government causing great disarray with the confidence of Australians. There are clear, there are clear signs on what this Government should do. In the next 12 months, you should – well I’ll tell you what, you’re asking what we should do? Don't cut Medicare. Do not wreck the higher education system. Do not touch the pensioners.

What we need is a strategy for growth in this country and you do not have it. There is the Treasurer, the ultimate hollow man of Australian politics.

The best, the best proposition we can do for this nation is you drop this Budget in its entirety, you admit that you’ve have wasted 18 months of the nation's life that we will not get back, and furthermore, we need to stop the marginalisation of the middle class of Australia.

You open up an attack on the minimum wage in this country. You open up an attack on the aspiration of Australians to have a decent income. You’ve abandoned the manufacturing sector in this country.

This Government care to tell people that if they had a different message maker, then all would be good. The fundamental problem in this nation is that the Liberal Party has drifted too far to the right. You no longer represent the mainstream of Australian thinking.

In that last Budget you certainly bit off more than you could chew, and it was because you broke the covenant of trust with the Australian voters. You can sit there and you can put your hands over your ears and say none of this is true. The truth of the matter is that Australians have low tolerance for a Government who lied their way into office. You don't need to do different social media, you don't need to have different leaders, what you have to do is not tell lies to the Australian people.

This morning was a debacle. We know it was a debacle and you know it was a debacle. And this constant reference to saying that somehow we’ve sorted all our issues out – until you sort out the Budget, until you sort out your attack on the working people of Australia, until you stop intimidating and oppressing the poor in Australia and the vulnerable, your problems will never be fixed.

The Liberal Party has moved the political debate in this country far too much to the extremes. You are an extreme Government, motivated by an extreme ideology.

And the Member for Wentworth no matter what he has said in the past, has shown he is a man prepared to say and do anything to be the Prime Minister of the Liberal Party and that isn’t good enough for this country. And Australians have not only worked out this Prime Minister, they’ve worked out the Member for Wentworth. A man who will say and do anything to be in power.

And the answer is clear - we need to have a Government who won't cut pensions, who won’t introduce $100,000 degrees –

 

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053