Wednesday, 16 September 2015
I had a call today from a reporter asking me what I thought of the odds issued by Sportsbet on the next federal election. In Capricornia, Sportsbet apparently lists Labor at odds on $1.17. They said I was the underdog. My response to people is: do not waste your money on Labor. There is no shame in being considered the underdog in the next federal election, because it only spurs me on to prove Labor wrong—yet again.
I concede that we may have a small margin in Capricornia, but I am a fighter and I remain positive because the region deserves to be talked up in a positive way. People know that I am a no-nonsense, down-to-earth member and that I have had my nose to the grindstone, working hard and talking up our region in a way that it has never been represented before. Our coalition government clearly stands for hard-working locals, families, small businesses and communities. This was evidenced this week as the National Party negotiated a new agreement with the Prime Minister to increase, among other things, the Family Tax Benefit Part B for stay-at-home mums and dads. In our last budget earlier this year, only the coalition delivered the most significant growing small business package in 50 years. And only the Liberal-National coalition has provided small business and our farmers—those with cash flow under $2 million—with access to immediate tax deductions for individual assets of up to $20,000 that they purchase for their business.
The pollsters, like Sportsbet, wrote me off last time as well, but I won the seat because people in Capricornia were sick of Labor's corrupt unions—like the ones we have now facing the current royal commission. They were sick of Labor's scaremongering, Labor's skyrocketing national debt, Labor's carbon tax on local businesses which impeded local job creation and they were sick of Labor's hopeless economic management.
If people want to gamble with their vote at the next election and put Bill Shorten in charge of our country, they should understand that people from all walks of life in Capricornia will be among the biggest losers from his command. Labor was the party that caused catastrophic losses in our live beef trade. The turnaround in industries like our vital beef sector in Capricornia is due to new free trade deals and new international markets opened up by the coalition, on top of my positive sell on what Capricornia has to offer the world.
I am fighting for water infrastructure in my area because it will boost business confidence, boost investment and create jobs. I want to see projects like the Eden Bann and Rookwood weirs get Commonwealth backing. You hear nothing about these types of generation-changing projects from Labor. Yet here is the potential to create 2,100 new jobs in the Rockhampton region.
It gets worse. The Australian Labor Party brought in 100 per cent FIFO to Capricornia's coal industry. That is decimating our small mining communities. Labor is further stalling the potential for other avenues of job creation in Capricornia.
Mr Champion interjecting—
Bill Shorten puts at risk the opportunity to support increased exports of beef and other commodities by failing to support our nation's much-needed free trade deal with China. What type of people deliberately set out to sabotage the opportunities for new jobs and new international trade in Central Queensland? Labor's Bill Shorten and Labor's candidate for Capricornia, that's who.
A vote for Labor in Capricornia is a vote for higher taxes and lower cattle prices. A vote for Labor is a vote for a new carbon tax on your local business, reduced export trade and an end to jobs in our commercial fishing industry.
In uncertain economic times, people need to feel safe and feel that the country is in the hands of the best economic managers, and history proves that that is not the Labor Party. Labor trashes the national bank account, leaving pensioners, the disadvantaged and households relying on a stable welfare system, vulnerable. It is then left to the coalition to responsibly build the nation's fortunes back up again to secure our pensioners' future.
I am always listening to the people of my electorate, so I am officially launching a period of electorate-wide listening tours. On Monday, I will be kicking off my 'all ears' listening tour, touring around Capricornia, starting in Sarina, Clermont and Middlemount. I use the expression 'all ears' to mean listening to any issues people have. (Time expired)