Thursday, 1 August 2019
Matters of Public Importance
Those opposite have engaged in dehumanising people in our care for political gain. We on this side of the House appeal to hope. Those on that side of the House rely upon fear. We want to shape the future in the interests of all Australians. Those opposite are frightened of the present and terrified of the future. Nowhere is that better characterised than in the National Broadband Network: we understand that fibre is the technology of the 21st century; those opposite rely on copper to go forward.
We on this side want genuine support for our farmers who are struggling in the drought, who need real action on climate change, who need real funding. Those opposite want legislation that gives them some money in the following financial year—$100 million rather than the $5 billion that they talk about. We on this side of the House are absolutely determined to bring the nation together. We reject those who seek to divide us. In their No. 1 talking point, the Prime Minister, the Treasurer and the minister opposite talk about 'Whose side are you on?' That shows exactly what they are about. They don't have a positive agenda, they rely upon negative politics and they seek to divide at every single opportunity.
We on this side of the House are united. We know exactly what the values of the Labor Party are, we know what we stand for: a strong economy and jobs. We know we stand for social justice. We know we stand for lifting people up, not leaving people behind. We know we stand for engagement on the environment. Australians don't want that much and they don't ask that much from their government, but they expect a bit of respect. They expect that the government will actually have a plan. And a third-term government should have developed that plan into a coherent narrative. Yet what we see is just more and more scare campaigns.
The fact is that Labor's values are shared not just by people here who have a common interest, who are united not just because we happen to be in parliament and not just because we happen to be in the Labor Party, but because it is our shared values that have brought us to the Labor Party—a party that has been in existence since 1891, a party that has proud origins and a proud history, a party that will continue to contribute to this nation's history into the future.
So I say to the Prime Minister: you asked the question, consider it answered. We on this side of the House know exactly whose side we are on. On that side of the House, they are so divided they can't even get an answer from a Prime Minister about senior members of the Liberal Party and the National Party appearing on the same platform with extreme right-wing ideologues in order to promote division in this country, allowing in the sort of talk that will just divide us.
I will conclude with the Prime Minister's question. We know exactly who we are and we know exactly whose side we are on. We are the Australian Labor Party and we are on the side of Australia's national interests. It's a pity that there is a government that isn't—a government that is just on the side of its own selfish political interests and seeks to divide people, promote fear and engage in negative politics because they don't have a positive agenda for their third term.