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Address to State Council Bendigo

Ladies and Gentleman

As Robert Menzies said in a 1951 election speech, “we have no offer to make except that we shall serve you faithfully.”

As a member of the Victorian Liberal Party’s federal parliamentary team, I’m proud to say, under Peter Dutton’s strong and principled leadership, we are working hard to serve you faithfully.

On your behalf, we are working hard to hold the government to account, to develop better policies in the best interests of all Australians, so that we may once again serve our nation faithfully.

Our mission is to expel Anthony Albanese and Labor from government.

As a strong and united team which respects our individual freedoms, including the freedom of speech, the freedom to be our best selves, our broad church, working together with you, we can do this.

This is a government which is sending Australia backwards – on regressive IR, housing and energy laws, with its lies and spin, its myriad of broken promises, aided and abetted by a Budget which is delivering some of the worst economic conditions we’ve seen in living memory – skyrocketing cost of living, crippling inflation, rising unemployment, higher taxes – and the greatest decline in real wages on record.

Under this Albanese Labor Government, a typical Australian family with kids will be around $25,000 worse off. Labor could not care less about fairness.

As patron senator for Bendigo, this Budget delivers nothing for Bendigo and regional Victoria – only Labor’s razor gang which is threatening 90 Victorian infrastructure projects worth $20 billion.

Fellow Liberals, tomorrow will mark one year of this government, and as we are seeing including in newspaper reports today, the tide is turning, Albo the honeymoon is over.

That’s not to say we don’t have a lot of hard work ahead of us – we do.

But I am incredibly proud of the policies we have announced to date which reflect our conviction to time honoured Liberal values:
– on the merits of nuclear energy,
– on unlocking super to buy a home
– on greater work incentives for Jobseeker recipients
– on banning gambling advertising during live sport
– on saying no to the Voice, a proposal so flawed that even former Indigenous social justice commissioner Micki Gooda has pleaded for ‘executive government’ to be removed from the amendment.

In my own portfolio of education, there is much hard work ahead. Despite a 60 per cent increase in schools funding over two decades, under Labor standards are rapidly declining – in research just released, 20 per cent of students starting Year 7 have the reading ability of a Grade 4 student. This is shocking.

The Coalition is determined to listen to Australian parents, celebrate great teachers, fix the curriculum, reform teacher training, and ensure that the foundations of education, reading writing and arithmetic – supported by the teaching of phonics and explicit learning – come first.

And let me say – schools of faith matter – we will fight tooth and nail to stop Labor’s desperate ideological plan to crush religious schools.

We are facing an international student crisis – as Labor’s Big Australia opens the floodgates with no plan for housing or infrastructure.

I’ve been working closely with Dan Tehan, the member for Wannon, who’s doing a first-class job at leading the charge on this reckless policy as Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.

Dan is a straightshooter, another great regional Liberal, an extremely hard worker, committed and dedicated to serving you faithfully.

Like our mothers before us, I am proud to say we are great friends.

Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome Dan Tehan.

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