That greatly loved poet who captured so much of that which is unique about our great country, Dorothea Mackellar, summed up Australia’s capacity to deliver brutal weather events in her moving tribute My Country, penned some 100 years ago. In that renowned poem she talked of Australia’s ‘droughts and flooding rains’. She spoke about our country’s terror, of ‘flood and fire and famine’. That word picture of our country by Dorothea Mackellar 100 years ago has rung especially true this summer for many Australians. While she may not have specifically mentioned cyclones, I am sure that those who were confronted by Cyclone Yasi will say it was appropriately covered by the descriptor ‘terror’ in the second verse.
Last Wednesday at about 9.30 am, Australia lost one of its finest in the cause of freedom. Another one of our finest was seriously injured in the incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with him for a full and speedy recovery.
Corporal Richard Atkinson’s life was cruelly cut short, but his memory will live on not only in the hearts of his family but also in the heart of a thankful nation. Anyone who saw the pictures last week of 22-year-old Tasmanian Corporal Richard Atkinson and his fiancée, Dannielle, could not help but have been affected by the pathos of a young life so abruptly ended, and with it many dreams and aspirations. Corporal Atkinson leaves behind his fiancée, Dannielle, to whom he was engaged only one month before his deployment and with whom he had planned a trip to Italy. He also leaves behind his parents, Ross and Kate; brother, James; and sister-in-law, Sumah, who are all, deservedly, so very proud of him.
Speech - Thomson Reuters Workplace Conference
22nd November 2010
I thank Peter Schwab at Thomson Reuters for this opportunity.
The topic of my address was billed as 'The Oppositions Approach to Industrial Relations'. I have decided to make a very slight change to this topic. As well as our 'approach to' industrial relations, I will also talk about the Opposition's predictions' for the future.
There is something deceitful and repugnant about an organisation which:
- Claims to be independent and non-partisan, but is actively partisan.
- Which campaigns on particular popular issues but is really only interested in funnelling votes to the Greens and Labor
- Which at each election pretends to independently assess the policies of the various political parties when the result is a foregone conclusion
- Which pretends to educate young people about policy issues but takes advantage of their political inexperience
- And which preaches openness but is secretive about its own financial affairs.
The coalition joins in the condolence motion that honours the life of the Hon Kenneth Shaw Wriedt, and especially his public life as a servant of the people of Tasmania and the Australian Labor Party. Ken Wriedt was a man not only of substantial physical stature but also of substantial political stature. It goes without saying that we on this side did not embrace his politics, but we do acknowledge his service and salute it. He was a passionate Tasmanian. He loved his adopted state and had no difficulty in switching to state politics in the service of the Tasmanian people and his party when he thought it was needed.
Mr Acting Deputy President:
It’s not the time to get the wobbles, it’s not the time to lose faith, it’s not the time to forsake the loss and the sacrifice and expense and the heartache that’s gone into [Afghanistan].
The coalition, in joining this debate to take note of the Prime Minister’s statement on Afghanistan, say ‘Amen’ to those wise and succinct sentiments uttered by Major General Cantwell in recent days. Let us be clear: the commitment to armed conflict is one of the most soul wrenching or soul searching decisions any Prime Minister or government could ever make. Those that have gone before us, and those that follow us, have made and will need to make these chilling calls—calls which all of us so passionately wish had not been part of our history or indeed part of our future, let alone the present. Nevertheless, we recognise the need to make such calls—calls which are made without perfect and full knowledge of all the situations and likelihoods, calls which need to be made without knowing the full consequences of inaction or action. They are, in brief, the matters which leadership requires to sift, to distil and to analyse before our bravest and best are requested to engage in theatres where they know they will be called upon to make a commitment which might require the ultimate sacrifice.
We have a hung Parliament - creating in its wake circumstances the likes of which we have not seen since the 1940’s.
Our Parliament is now formed with a minority Labor Government, who in the House of Representatives hold 72 seats in their own right.
Address to the Pacific Rim Policy Exchange
Firstly, thank you for the invitation to address this Pacific Rim Policy Exchange.
More specifically, thank you for asking me to share my insights into the significance of removing barriers to entrepreneurship and into the free market’s role in strengthening economies worldwide.
I congratulate Senator Pratt on being chosen by her colleagues to move the address-in-reply. Her Excellency’s address to this place yesterday highlighted the ongoing deficiencies of this ongoing Labor government—a government that failed when it had an absolute majority in the House of Representatives and is already continuing to fail without a majority. In the speech yesterday there was no mention as to what the government was going to do for the thousands of Australians that still have electrified roofs and living in danger of their houses burning down because of Labor’s bungled pink batt and insulation scheme. It has been simply airbrushed out of the pages of history. That is what Labor thought. Not so, because we as a coalition will continue to make the government accountable.
GetUp! - A New Kind of Astroturfing
GetUp! - independent and non-aligned?
There is something particularly repugnant about an organisation which:
- claims to be independent and non-partisan, but is actively partisan
- campaigns on particular popular issues, but which is really only interested in funnelling votes to the Greens and Labor
- each election goes through a charade of "independently" assessing the various political parties' policies when the result is a foregone conclusion
- will slightly criticise Labor in order to lend credence to its claims of independence
- pretends to educate young people about policy issues while taking advantage of their political inexperience
- preaches openness and transparency, but is secretive about its own financial affairs
Which organisation am I talking about?
When Robert Menzies founded our great party, he was concerned with what he described as the forgotten people – those people that had become voiceless at the hands of the Labor Government that dealt in the big picture, and forgot the people and communities that actually made up the big picture.
Now some 65 years later, it seems Labor of the 21st century has learnt nothing.
Labor is still stuck in their ideology of Government knowing best - that Government is the centre of everything and no doubt that is why Labor leaders have such inflated egos because they foolishly see themselves as being at the centre of all things important.