TRANSCRIPT OF THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MHR
ADDRESS TO THE LNP 2012 QUEENSLAND STATE CAMPAIGN LAUNCH
Warren, thank you very much indeed. You introduced me as the next prime minister of Australia. I think that Stephen Smith and Bill Shorten and now Bob Carr might think that they're the next prime minister of Australia, but I think I'll be the next elected prime minister of Australia.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is so good to see so many distinguished representatives of the Liberal and National family from right around Australia here today. And we are here because this is important. This election is not just important for Queensland, but it is vital for Australia because we have incompetent and untrustworthy government in Brisbane, but we also have incompetent and untrustworthy government in Canberra and the message which has to go loud and clear from the people of Queensland to the whole of Australia is that bad governments get punished.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Labor Party has never seen a problem that it didn't try to fix with more spending and more taxing. They saw a two-speed economy, so they gave us a mining tax. They saw people not saving enough, so they gave us a superannuation tax. They saw young people drinking too much, so they gave us an alcopops tax. But the daddy of them all: the climate is changing, the dams will never be full again, so they gave us a carbon tax.
Well, we have a message for the Labor Party today - you do not save the environment by killing the economy. You do not reduce emissions by making it more expensive to watch television or by making it more expensive to run your fridge. You don't hit the forgotten families of Australia with a carbon tax when they have already suffered enough - and the whole point, the whole point, people of Queensland, of this carbon tax is to price coal out of use. And on the government's own figures, coal drops from 80 per cent to just 10 per cent of Australia's power generation under the carbon tax. But mining, people of Queensland, is 10 per cent of your economy, and mining means coal.
Coal provides $3 billion to the Queensland treasury in royalties every year, so solvency means coal and I say to the 50,000 Queenslanders whose jobs depend on coal mining: the carbon tax is an anti-Queensland tax. The carbon tax is economic insanity for the people of Queensland and if you want to stop the carbon tax you can start by making Campbell Newman the premier of Queensland.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I thought I'd seen some waste in Canberra. Oh boy I'd seen some waste in Canberra. I'd seen $2.4 billion spent on putting combustible roof batts into people's houses and taken out again. I'd seen $16 billion building school halls at twice the market price. I'd seen $50 billion cooked up on the back of a coaster in a VIP aircraft and spent on the National Broadband Network, and then I came to Queensland. And there I saw $220 million spent on a health payroll system that can't pay doctors and nurses, but somehow they managed to pay $16 million to a Tahitian Prince. Well, it's no way to run a country, it's no way to run a state and it's not the way Queensland will be run under Campbell Newman.
But, you know, we do things differently in Canberra. When we sold the parliamentary billiard tables for $5,000, we then spent $102,500 finding out whether we got true value for money. I give you this assurance if a Coalition government is elected in Canberra, we'll stop the boats, we'll stop the big new taxes and we'll stop the waste and when we stop the waste there will be far more money to spend on people's real priorities like rebuilding the Bruce Highway.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I thought I'd seen a lot of lying in Canberra. There was the Prime Minister who wasn't straight with Kevin from Queensland over the prime ministership. There was the Prime Minister who wasn't straight with the Australian people over the carbon tax. There's the Prime Minister who wasn't straight with Andrew Wilkie over the pokie reform process and just last week there's the Prime Minister who wasn't straight with the Australian parliament over Bob Carr. I have a little warning for the Prime Minister though: be careful how close you get to the New South Wales right. They know how to execute Premiers. They can't execute a programme, but by God they know how to execute prime ministers too.
But you know, ladies and gentlemen, the lying all started here in Queensland. The lying all started here in Queensland with a premier who went through an election campaign without mentioning the word 'privatisation'. With a premier who went through an election campaign without mentioning 'petrol tax hikes'. This is where the lying all started and the best way to end Labor's lies is to end the career of Labor's first liar, by making Campbell Newman the premier of Queensland.
Now, I know Campbell Newman and I know that he will be a great premier of Queensland because he has already been a great Lord Mayor of Brisbane. Campbell Newman will get Queensland back on track the way he has got Brisbane back on track. Campbell Newman will rebuild Queensland the way he has rebuilt Brisbane. And you know Campbell Newman is serious because he has sacrificed the second most important job in this state to run for the most important job in this state.
My friends, I know that these are difficult times for our country and for Queensland. We know that we are a great country and we know that this is a great state but we also know that we can be so much better than we are now. There is much wrong with the government of Queensland, but there is nothing wrong with the Queensland people and after this election a good government will allow the people of Queensland to be their best selves.
We are a great country and we are a great people but we have been badly let down by governments in Brisbane and in Canberra and it is our job as members of the Liberal National Party to set things right.
So ladies and gentlemen, I make two predictions. My first prediction: the people of Queensland will not elect a hung parliament. They know that the only way to change a bad government is to vote for the local Liberal National Party candidate. The people of Queensland do not want to listen to another endless speech from a latter day Rob Oakeshott that finishes with the restoration of a lousy government.
My second prediction is that after 20 years of Labor the Queensland people have had enough. They will not, you will not reward the political party of Gordon Nuttall and Mary Rose and Jim Elder with three more years. You have too much sense for that.
Finally ladies and gentlemen, I can't stop Julia Gillard from giving Anna Bligh a job in Canberra, along with all the other failed state Labor premiers, but I tell you what, I am so proud to be helping Campbell Newman deny Anna Bligh a job here in Queensland - that's our mission, that's our task and would you please make very welcome a great Australian, a great Queenslander and a man who is going to be one of the very best premiers of this great state.