House debates

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Matters of Public Importance

Gillard Government

4:06 pm

Photo of Stephen JonesStephen Jones (Throsby, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Madam Deputy Speaker, can I add my voice to those who have congratulated you on your elevation. At the end of an extraordinary day, an extraordinary week and an extraordinary year it is indeed extraordinary that those opposite send in the peashooters when a cannon is needed. If that is the best they can do, they really are in a lot of strife and there is going to be a lot of soul-searching when they go back to camp at the end of this parliamentary session.

It has been an extraordinary year because we have delivered 250 pieces of legislation, we are continuing the rollout of the National Broadband Network, 750,000 jobs have been created, there has been a historic agreement on health with more doctors and more nurses, $36 billion is being invested in infrastructure, and there is a record increase in pensions. On the other side of the chamber the penny has dropped because after 15 months of saying no those on the other side have realised that they have to have a positive policy agenda. They have sent the Leader of the Opposition in here in some panicked attempt to set out a positive policy agenda, but the best we get is a litany of sentences that start with the words 'no', 'stop' or 'John Howard'. If that is the best they can do, then this country and the Liberal Party are in a lot of strife. At the end of a very tough parliamentary year and a very torrid parliamentary session we can see why those on the other side are looking very worried indeed. They have members leaving the coalition, they have people all around the country calling them the 'noalition' and they have people wondering whether their leader has the temperament to not only lead the country but also his own side. I think over the long break there will be a lot of people wondering whether the Leader of the Opposition has the judgment, the temperament and the ability to lead them into next year. There will be a lot of nervous backbenchers on that side, indeed.


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