Senate debates

Tuesday, 30 November 2021


Morrison Government

7:25 pm

Photo of Jess WalshJess Walsh (Victoria, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The end of the year is a time for reflection and, as the parliamentary year comes to an end, the people of Australia are reflecting on what the Morrison government has done for them. What they see is a government which, instead of focusing on delivering for the people of this country, is simply a mess—a mess of dishonesty, disunity and desperation. Instead of delivering for communities, we have a government caught out in dishonesty. They have been exposed again and again, even as recently as this week, for their blatant rorting, spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars like it's Liberal Party money. They have been caught out by saying one thing one day and something completely different the next. This is a government where the truth always comes second to spin.

Instead of delivering the legislation needed to make a real difference in people's lives, we have a government that is hamstrung by disunity, held hostage on climate by its own coalition partners, failing to even hold their own numbers, with splits left, right and centre, in the thralls of crossbenchers who are playing to fear at a time when we should be celebrating the unity of millions of ordinary Australians doing the right thing to get us through this pandemic.

Instead of delivering a plan for our recovery, we have a government getting increasingly desperate, so desperate that they're scrounging for votes and are prepared to play footsie with extremists, so desperate that they're dropping last-minute half-baked policies in an attempt to distract from the shambles inside their own party, contorting logic to somehow blame Labor for failing to introduce the government's own legislation. We have a government so focused on itself and its problems that it is ignoring the things that really matter to everyday Australians, the things that help to build a better and brighter life.

Labor knows what matters and is the only party people can rely on to deliver the things that matter at every stage of life, delivering opportunity as we grow: quality early learning, giving every child the best start in life; good schools, TAFEs and universities, so everyone has the chance to be their best; secure jobs that we can count on, to build a good life and support our families, with a plan to get wages moving; rebuilding manufacturing and valuing our essential workers; delivering health and dignity in retirement—only Labor will do that—by protecting Medicare for all, growing superannuation retirement savings and fixing our broken aged-care system. At every age and every stage Labor is on your side.

We have a real plan to reduce our emissions and protect our climate, to bring the jobs and investment of the new global economy here and build Australia into a new green energy superpower. These are the things government should be focused on. These are the things that will make a real difference. We will soon have a choice to make as a nation between three more years of this tired, eight-year government desperately trying to save itself by sowing division or a Labor government that will bring people together and deliver the things that really matter, because Labor believes we can achieve more when you focus on the things that unite us rather than the things that divide us. You can only build great things from a strong foundation of unity—unity in your government and unity in the community.

We have an opportunity to build on the values that saw us come together over the course of the pandemic, to build a stronger nation ready to face the challenges of today and turn them into the opportunities of the future, to move forwards with courage and hope. Unlike those opposite, Labor has a vision and a plan. More importantly, we will deliver it.