Monday, 10 September 2018
They want a calm, methodical government in Australia that is getting on with the job. When it comes from the Leader of the Opposition, it is particularly galling to be lectured about stability and unity. In Paul Kelly's book, Triumph and Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation, on the Leader of the Opposition, Paul Kelly lined him up. He said:
The distrust between Shorten and Rudd was intense and enduring, the Gillard camp was contemptuous of Shorten, considering him weak and duplicitous. Neither side trusted him and neither side revised its view.
That is the truth about the Leader of the Opposition. Neither side trusts him in the Labor side. Nobody trusts him amongst the Australian public. The only people that trust him to follow what he says he'll do are the CFMEU and John Setka. The reality is that, after only two weeks, the new Prime Minister is the preferred Prime Minister in Australia. How upsetting that must be to the Labor caucus. Even in polls showing the government trailing the opposition very seriously—and there is no point in gilding the lily; that is certainly the case in the current public polling—even in published polling that shows the Labor Party well ahead of the government, the Leader of the Opposition is not the preferred Prime Minister in this country. In two short weeks, the member for Cook has so put his stamp on the prime ministership that he is the preferred Prime Minister in this country, and that must be making the Labor Party hardheads of the caucus and the union movement scratch their heads and think it's possible they could lose this next election—an election which the Labor Party thinks they already have in the bag, an election where the Leader of the Opposition is already sizing up the curtains in the prime ministerial suite because he is so certain that he's going to be the Prime Minister of Australia after the next election.
Well, I've got news for the Labor Party: we're getting on with the job on this side of the House. Whether it's creating over a million jobs—last week, according to the national accounts, we had the highest level of growth in the G7—
Honourable members interjecting—