14 September 2017

Speech: Turnbull government delivering in the face of more chaos from Labor

It’s great to hear from the member for Watson, the official king of chaos on the other side. We note that there was not one word about the economy, about jobs or about national security. He talked a lot about what Labor isn’t. Mr Deputy Speaker, I’ll tell you one thing that Labor isn’t: there are no signs of the old Labor or the principles where the old Labor would stand up for blue-collar workers, would stand up for our manufacturers and would stand up for our coalminers. Where are the great old Labor figures of Hawke, Crean, Keating, Ferguson and Combet? Those great figures are embarrassed by what this mob has become. They are embarrassed!

Let us have a look at our record. We’ve made record investments to keep Australia safe, by investing in our national security and policing agencies. We are delivering record jobs growth: 800,000 jobs created in the last four years, reversing Labor’s stagnating performance. Over the last 12 months the economy generated 325,000 new jobs, four times the rate of jobs growth compared with Labor’s last year in office. We’re investing in small businesses to grow jobs and confidence: we’re cutting taxes, fixing our competition laws and providing the instant asset write-off. These are things that Labor used to believe in, but now it wants to drive up taxes and penalise Australia’s two million small businesses.

We’re stopping the rorts and corrupt payments, and restoring the rule of law on Australian building sites. We are stopping the dirty deals between big employers and big unions, like the shoppies union—of which the member for Watson is a member. He has not been prepared to stand up against those dirty, stinking deals which have seen young workers ripped off, lose their penalty rates altogether and even be paid under the award. We’ve introduced the ABCC to reinstate the rule of law on building sites around this country and to stop the likes of the CFMEU acting illegally and driving up the costs of construction. What a shame that members opposite won’t take a leaf out of Bob Hawke’s book and get rid of the CFMEU. They do not have the guts.

We’ve delivered record schools funding under the real Gonski—an increase of $23.5 billion, which Labor opposed. We’re putting Australian jobs first. We’re fixing our visa system. We’ve reversed Labor’s horrific border protection policy failures, which saw 1,200 people die at sea and 10,000 children put behind bars.

And look at the Leader of the Opposition’s record in Victoria. He’s prevailed over several infrastructure investment disasters. There was the $4 billion regional rail link, a white elephant which now leaves commuters standing room only, and has treated the people of Geelong as second-class citizens. He never had the guts to stand up to Daniel Andrews when he abandoned the East West Link, at a cost of $1.24 billion, and all of those 7,000 blue-collar jobs—those blue-collar workers—a project he previously supported. And Labor’s West Gate Tunnel Project has been exposed as a sham.

But nothing takes the cake like Labor’s energy policy. Our government is driving down energy prices by reserving gas, holding the electricity companies to account, building Snowy Hydro 2.0, standing up for base-load power, standing up for coalminers and standing up for the coalmining industry. The Leader of the Opposition never had the guts to stand up for manufacturing workers in the La Trobe Valley and hold Daniel Andrews to account when he forced Hazelwood to close. Labor’s record is absolutely appalling.

14 September