Thursday, 4 April 2019
Statements by Members
We are here on the last sitting of the 45th Parliament and the people of Cowper will have an important decision to make at the next election. They can choose a very fine National Party candidate in Pat Conaghan, a local man who grew up Kempsey, who was a policeman in Kempsey and who became a police prosecutor and, ultimately, a criminal lawyer. He is a person who knows the needs of our local area. But in the field for the next election we have a pretender, and that pretender is the former member for Lyne. He masquerades as an Independent, but we all know on the North Coast that he is Labor—Labor in Independent's clothing. So when the people move forward and come to the ballot box they will know that, if they choose the former member for Lyne, they will be voting for a retiree tax, they will be voting for a carbon tax, they will be voting to put Bill Shorten into the Lodge.
I know that the people of the North Coast don't want Labor. So, my advice to them is clear: don't vote for the sham Independent, the former member for Lyne. Vote for Pat Conaghan, the National Party candidate, a great local champion. He is someone who will stand up for the needs of the electorate of Cowper. He is someone who will ensure that the voice of Cowper is heard. The former member for Lyne propped up a government that did not spend one cent on mobile phone communications.
In less than 72 hours, the Prime Minister will call an election and Australians are going to be relieved, I can tell you. After five years of underperformance, chaos and division, the Australian people will get the opportunity to cast a verdict on this lacklustre Prime Minister and his second-rate ministry. Nothing highlights the division and the ramshackle incompetence of this government than its inability to make a decision on a how-to-vote card. Last week the Prime Minister, after exhausting absolutely every other alternative, did the right thing after witnessing the expose of One Nation in a sting, trying to take NRA money and take it to Australia to corrupt our politics. The Prime Minister did the right thing and instructed the Liberal Party to put One Nation last. It should have been a unifying moment in Australian politics, but the National Party were having none of it, because in Dawson, in Capricornia and in Flynn they have been cuddling up to One Nation, because they want their preferences. Those members should do the right thing: they should put One Nation last and they should explain to their electorates. We can't go overseas and say: 'We want you to buy our beef, our wheat, our sugar, our coal and our iron ore, but we don't like ya. We don't want you near our country. We don't like the look of you and we don't like your religion.' If you can't agree on how to vote— (Time expired)