Monday, 3 June 2013
I wish to take this opportunity to speak about opportunity and hope and reward. The coalition stakes its reputation and raises its plan for a return to national prosperity on these three pillars—hope, reward and opportunity. Together they stand for creativity and ideas and an environment where those ideas are able to breathe and thrive free from big government and bureaucratic restraint; and then just reward for one's endeavour and hard work. If elected a coalition government will build layer upon layer of policy to bind this powerful three-way commitment into reality. We will build a strong, diversified economy with lower taxes which will deliver more jobs, higher real incomes and better services for all Australians. How many extra jobs? One million new jobs over the next five years and two million jobs within a decade.
A coalition government will immediately rescind the carbon tax which, by the way, increases on 1 July by five per cent. Abolishing the world's biggest carbon tax will remove the upward pressure on power costs that is hurting businesses and households alike. At the same time, we will keep the income tax cuts and fortnightly pension and benefit increases—retaining tax cuts without a carbon tax.
The coalition has real solutions for small business, which we know and respect as the engine room of Australia's economy. We will usher in a revitalised era of fewer regulations to encourage more productivity and greater rewards. We will cut red tape and green tape by a billion dollars every year.
A coalition government will build more modern infrastructure to get things moving, with a focus on our gridlocked roads and highways. We will direct hospital funding to where it is needed most—to front-line patient care. We will champion an education system which puts local communities, not bureaucrats, in the position to decide the direction of our schools.
The latest appearance of two vessels carrying 157 people takes the total number of illegal boats which have arrived on Labor's watch beyond 700. From day one of a coalition government, we would begin the work of re-securing our country's borders—reintroducing temporary protection visas, turning boats around where it is safe to do so and ensuring rigorous offshore processing.
With a return to prudent economic stewardship, we will rein in the federal Labor government's debt of almost $300 billion. We would chart a fairer, more responsible society underpinned by the notion of 'a hand-up, not a hand-out'. We will see smaller government and bigger citizens.