Thursday, 5 December 2019
Matters of Public Importance
If members opposite are ever wondering why they're sitting on that side of the chamber and not this side, the contribution in the last 10 minutes by the Leader of the Opposition is a pretty good example of that. If that contribution were played on SBS, there would need to be someone there with a grey beard explaining to the wider Australian public what it all meant. He was critical of the Prime Minister's support for quiet Australians. Quiet Australians are the people out there in Australia. They're not the union officials. They're not in the Canberra inner circle that we're seeing here.
If the Labor Party wonder why they are sitting there after 18 May, it's because they didn't speak to the quiet Australians. They didn't have the conversations that I was having with people in Bourke, in Moree and in every other part of Australia. People were coming up to me, whose lifelong family connections to the Labor Party are well known, and were terrified of the Labor Party's policies. They were coming to me and telling me that they didn't understand how the Labor Party had lost its way. That great party that was formed in regional Australia on the sweat of shearers and was born to represent the working class of Australia has lost its way and now has no connection with those people. It's the people on this side that represent the areas in the bush. They are representing those people, because those people have lost complete faith in the Labor Party. The people on this side are all people with real life experience.
None of these people on this side, I believe, got here by being union officials. Hands up if you were a union official before you came into this place. I'm sorry, we're not representatives like you are over there. So the Australians looked to the coalition, and they liked what they saw. They wanted to have someone to represent them that kept taxes low. They wanted someone that could balance the budget. They wanted someone that could build infrastructure for the future. They wanted someone that could manage a strong economy and create jobs.
They wanted some who could balance the budget. This year, the budget has returned to balance for the first time in 11 years. I have been around here for a while.