I believe if you see a problem, you should fix it. That’s what I’ve always tried to do.
As Minister for Immigration the boats were coming, and we stopped them. As Minister for Human Services I worked to get more people off welfare and into work and we did. As Treasurer, I worked to repair the Budget — and next year we will have the first surplus since John Howard was prime minister.
You can’t hide from problems when you are the prime minister, and I don’t. Since I was sworn in as prime minister just over three months ago, I’ve been listening to Australians and hearing. Reading their letters and emails. There’s a lot of goodwill and a bit of frank advice as well.
Mostly, Australians say they are pleased the economy is doing well and with the decisions we are making about things like terrorism, securing our borders, and cutting small business taxes. But they are disappointed that over the past five years we changed prime ministers twice.
They hate the revolving door of leaders we have been on since Kevin Rudd. They say “We pick, you should stick”. I agree.
Australians have the very reasonable expectation that when they elect a government, when they elect a prime minister, they should be the ones who determine if that prime minister is to continue in that office.
This week, my party made a historic decision. From here on, if an elected Liberal Party leader goes to the election, wins that election and becomes prime minister, they will remain prime minister for the full parliamentary term.
They will not be able to be removed from office. That could only happen — as a safeguard — by meeting the very high bar of a special majority two-thirds vote.
The parliamentary party agrees we have to change our conduct when it comes to leaders. This change does that. It means Australians can be confident if you re-elect the Coalition next year, we will stick with your choice.
I plan to call the next election after the Budget is handed down on April 2. That Budget will be the first Budget since the Howard government to deliver a budget surplus.
At the election, you’ll have a clear choice. A choice between me or Bill Shorten to be your prime minister.
Bill Shorten has announced $200 billion in higher taxes that will weaken our economy, and his reckless emissions targets will also put up electricity prices.
My plan strengthens our economy and helps families. We will continue the work that has already created over 1.1 million new jobs.
Under our plan, the budget will be in balance and personal income tax and small business tax will be lower. We will be making record investments in essential services like schools, hospitals and infrastructure that you rely on.
We will continue doing the things that create jobs, like negotiating trade deals, cutting red tape and making life easier for Australia’s 3.3 million small businesses.
For five years this government has delivered the jobs, services, infrastructure and security Australians need. But I know, and you know, we work best when we’re focused totally on you. The decisions I’ve announced this week will make that easier.
Originally published in The Daily Telegraph.