Wednesday, 12 September 2018
It was a very authentic phone call. I pay respects to the member for Fremantle. It was a very authentic phone call, as we now know. We now know what he really thinks. We now know his true temperament. We now know what really makes him tick when it comes to big issues facing the Australian people. It's all about the politics for this bloke. It is all about the internal Liberal Party politics. You can take him out of the state directorship of the Liberal Party, but you can't take the state directorship of the Liberal Party out of him. He's still, at heart, a state director of the Liberal Party, not a Prime Minister for all Australians. He's certainly not a Prime Minister for all Tasmanians—not for the Treasurer of Tasmania, nor for all Tasmanians.
This is a Prime Minister who is simply not up to the job. He wasn't up to the job of being Treasurer, with all due respect, Mr Speaker, and he's certainly not up to the job of being Prime Minister of Australia. This is a man who thinks it's appropriate to slam down the phone on the Treasurer of Tasmania and use language which was insulting and which I will not repeat in the House. I have too much respect to repeat it in the House. It was clearly insulting to the Treasurer and to all Tasmanians, because that is what he really thinks. He didn't fly into Braddon and say: 'I'm here to tell you you're all mendicants. I'm here to tell you don't deserve the GST money. I'm here to tell you don't deserving fair hospital funding or school funding. I'm here to tell you if you vote for me and for the Liberal Party you'll get a Treasurer and then a Prime Minister who thinks Tasmanians are beggars.' He didn't tell the people of Tasmania that.
He's not being honest with the people of Australia either. This is a man who is prepared to be dishonest with the people of Tasmania. He's therefore willing to be dishonest with the people of Australia. He's not very authentic. He knows that if he can fake authenticity, he's got it made. He knows that. That's his big plan. He says he has a mountain to climb to show the Australian people he's authentic. He's right there; we've found a point of agreement. He has a mountain to climb to show the Australian people he is authentic, because he is not authentic. He is authentic about one thing only: his ambitions. Remember when he gave Malcolm the cuddle and said, 'This is my leader and I'm ambitious for him.' Well, he was ambitious for somebody; that's true. He's not ambitious for the people of Tasmania, that's for certain. He thinks the people of Tasmania deserve less. He thought Malcolm Turnbull should deserve less as well, and he dealt with that.
Let's not let him deal with the people of Tasmania. Let's not let him deal with the matter of GST distribution. Let's not let him deal with low wages growth in Australia, where his plan is to cut penalty rates. Let's not let him deal with underfunding of schools, where his plan is to cut school funding more. Let's not let him deal with underfunding of hospitals and hospital cuts. Let's not let him deal with the challenges facing Australians doing it tough, trying to make ends meet, who commit no crime other than working on weekends, only to get a wages cut; or Australians who want their schools and hospitals properly funded. He has no plan for them. He probably thinks they're beggars and mendicants as well. He thinks they're an irritant as he tries to climb the mountain to build his authenticity, as he tries to show the Australian people he is really just an ordinary bloke. Well, he is an ordinary bloke with bad plans for Australia. He is a very ordinary Prime Minister—I'll give him that. He is a very, very ordinary Prime Minister. This bloke is the most ordinary Prime Minister since Billy McMahon. I suspect the Australian people will work that out, and they will work out his lack of authenticity as well. (Time expired)