Thursday, 5 May 2016
Without anticipating what may transpire in the next few days, this may be the last sitting day of this House of Representatives in the 44th Parliament. The next election will be the 45th since Federation and it will be a double dissolution, one of only six since 1901. Many of those voting for the first time will not have voted in a double dissolution but, because of the electoral reforms passed recently, the choice of every voter at the ballot box will be faithfully replicated in the outcome of this House and, most importantly, the other place. It is, of course, the cynical gaming of Senate preferences which has led to the current parliamentary situation, where a government's legislation, for which it has a popular mandate, is continually frustrated by certain senators, and most disgracefully by the Labor Party, which prevents essential reforms to benefit the Australian economy and society for base political reasons. They opposed Senate voting reforms and put the union interest above the national interest. But to stand up for principles requires courage—the courage of men like Gary Gray. Australians will have a stark choice when they go to the polls—between a government they can trust to continue the economic stewardship of Australia in challenging times or a return to the turmoil and tax-borrow-spend days of the Rudd-Gillard years. The people of Bass who sent me here are not mugs. They know the choice that will be offered to them and they know that a re-elected coalition will never let them down.