Bill's Speeches

STATEMENT TO CAUCUS

Welcome back to Parliament for 2014.

A year when Labor will take up the fight to this Government, and spell out our alternative vision for the future.

It’s my pleasure to give a very special welcome to the member-elect for Griffith – Terri Butler.

Terri, you have a won a great victory against a high-profile and cashed-up candidate.

You should be proud of your campaign – a campaign that fought for core Labor values.

You stood up for Medicare – free and universal.

You spoke out against cruel cuts to health, education and pensions.

And you did all this after only being pre-selected the week before Christmas.

Terri, you’ll be a fantastic addition to the Labor team.

You’ve dedicated your professional life to ensuring working people get a fair go.

Like all of us, you understand that people on forty, fifty, sixty thousand dollars aren’t overpaid.

Like all of us, you know that penalty rates, leave loading and extra duty allowances are not some kind of glossy bonus.

They are hard-earned and much-needed to help families make ends meet.

Tony Abbott has already made it clear that he won’t let the truth get in the way of his attack on working Australians.

It’s working people who get the blame when this Government watches Australian icons and Australian jobs going overseas.

If Tony Abbott were genuine about investigating corruption, they’d support our proposal for a high-powered, AFP-led taskforce.

One that will ensure the low-lifes engaging in criminal behaviour face the full force of the law.

It’s hard to understand this Government’s priorities.

When 54,000 Australians have lost their jobs - Tony Abbott’s priority is spending upwards of $100m on a political stunt.

Tony Abbott just doesn’t get it.

Joe Hockey is out there telling pensioners and working people that it’s time for them to ‘do the heavy lifting’.

All of us in this caucus room know that working people already do more than their fair share.

We don’t think working people struggling to make ends meet need lectures about the end of an ‘age of entitlement’.

Tony Abbott isn’t governing for the future.

He’s stuck fighting the same old negative battles of the past.

Governments should be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

To stand up for jobs and a fair go for all Australians.

That’s why we’re here.

ENDS

CANBERRA, MONDAY 10 FEBRUARY 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADERS OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053