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.
Federal Labor has reached a new low. Having promised so much and delivered so little, its backflip to run an unconscionable taxpayer-funded misinformation campaign is another example in the long list of broken Labor promises. To add insult to injury and like with so much else they do, Labor has not only embarked on a $38 million taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign but also rushed it and not consulted. Remember throughout all this that Mr Rudd gave this solemn commitment: government advertising was a cancer on the body politic of Australia that needed surgical removal.
So rushed was its desire for a taxpayer-funded campaign, Labor—through its Special Minister of State—crashed through and ignored its very own pathetically weak guidelines by invoking emergency powers. That is bad enough in itself. But—oh, what a tangled web we weave—having disingenuously claimed urgency and emergency, Labor then withheld this decision wilfully and deliberately from the parliament in an attempt to avoid the scrutiny of Senate estimates process.
That the Senate notes the Prime Minister’s continued unprincipled attacks upon the Senate.
The Labor Party’s continued unprincipled attacks on the Senate are regrettable. The Senate is a vital part of Australia’s parliamentary democratic framework, which is in fact the envy of the world. Some would say the Senate should be thankful for small mercies because we have not been spoken about in the same way as the Chinese officials in Copenhagen. But when a Prime Minister speaks to demean the Senate in the way this Labor Prime Minister has and this Labor government has, the Australian people need to simply ask a one-word question: why? The answer is that the Prime Minister and his government are desperately thrashing around, drowning in a self-made quagmire of incompetence and duplicity. So as the Prime Minister and his government’s collective head is sinking beneath the surface, they thrash around desperately thinking that unprincipled attacks on the institutions of this parliament, namely the Senate, will somehow provide them with an electoral lifebuoy by distracting the Australian people from their self-made fiascos. I have a message for Labor: attacking the Senate will not be a lifebuoy, but working with us could in fact have been a lifebuoy. Let us have a look at what the Prime Minister has been saying. Just this week he has said about the Senate:
So we have a very simple message for the Senate, which is get out of the road, guys, just get on with it.
It's truly a delight to be here today to speak at a forum organised by an industry organisation which isn't afraid to stand up and argue for the interest of its members - even if it does make them unpopular from time to time with the powers that be in Canberra.
Because ultimately that's what industry organisations are all about - standing up for the interests of their industry.
You had the guts to express your legitimate and now vindicated concerns about the CPRS.
And now you are rightly speaking out against Labor's great big new tax on the mining industry.
A tax which it is publicly claimed on one hand is somehow going to grow the mining industry (go figure).
Yet on the other hand, even Ken Henry seems to privately agree is actually designed to slow the industry down.
It's a wonderful gift to argue two completely contradictory points of view with a straight face.
But given Climate Change is "the greatest moral challenge of our time", but we can defer action for 3 years, I shouldn't be surprised.
I'm told by Labor we have a two-speed economy, and we have to get them synchronised.
So true to Labor form, confronted with those that are well-off and those that are not so well-off, the option they take is to pull down the well-off rather than lifting the not so well-off - that is, according to Labor, the easiest way to provide equity is to shoot all the rich ones.
The organizers of this Conference are to be congratulated for the opportunity afforded to us to undertake a stock take of the Fair Work regime.
I note that no-one from the Government will be contributing - it seems that Ms Gillard is most anxious to talk about the non-existent/dead WorkChoices rather than an analysis of her own system which bears a lot of Labor's and her own personal iconic hallmarks - rushed and the victim of overpromising and under delivering.
And let's not forget the promise
"No worker will be worse off". 10's of 100's of workers are worse off! And to combat this & we see the ACTU embarking on a wasteful campaign against the dead WorkChoices.
I have a simple message for Ms Gillard and the ACTU - Australians and Australian workers are not interested in 2007 but in 2010 and beyond.
And desperate attempts to run a scare campaign against WorkChoices won't alleviate the plight of workers in 2010 or & over the legacy of broken promises.
Australian workers are interested in our plans for the future, not the mistakes of the past.
It's a delight to be with you and thanks for the invitation.
Brad's kind invitation included the foreboding observation that amongst other things the attendance of the Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations "has always been a highlight of the conference."
I trust that Brad can write the same for the introduction to the 2011 conference. By then I hope my description will have been shortened with the important removal of the frustrating word "shadow"!
I'm very conscious of the fact that I'm addressing a group of fellow industrial relations "tragics" - whom I acknowledge from Judges to an Attorney-General, a Minister to elected officials to hired guns and the world of academia.
Although I note you may be more "tragic" than me in that you eat, breathe and live workplace relations all day, every day, whereas I get some light relief through question time talking matters economic and other general issues in the broader public policy arena.
Your individual specialist knowledge is undoubtedly better than mine - so please go easy!
Senator Abetz :Trust is the key currency of politics, and unless you can be trusted to honour that to which you've committed to do, then, I've got to say, you're not going to obtain the enduring respect of the Australian people.
Those prophetic words were spoken by no other than the Labor leader himself on 29 February 2008, some two years ago. Put simply, the Australian people no longer trust Labor, because Labor has not honoured the people of Australia by keeping its promises. Indeed, Labor discards its solemn promises as easily as we discard our used tissues: it spares them not another thought.
The list of broken promises, this shameful record, must surely be vying for a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Who else could recklessly make so many inflated promises inflated both in number and actual size and then so dismissively walk away from them other than Labor, led by the promise-making, promise-breaking duo of Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard and, might I add, every single Labor member and senator in this place?
It is an honour to have been invited to share ANZAC Day with you. It seems very appropriate to celebrate ANZAC Day on Flinders Island, which was largely built on the Soldier Settlement Programme after World War II – so poignantly described in Bob Mainwaring’s book the Gold Coast Settlers noting that Bob himself was a soldier settler and a former warden of Flinders Island.
A few years ago when I became Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, I nearly drowned in a sea of acronyms. I found Defence had a language all of its own.
Thank you for the opportunity to address you this morning.
Can I acknowledge Stephen Smith, members of AIG, stakeholders, and fellow workplace relations tragics.
In any discussion of matters workplace relations it is always instructive to remind oneself that issues workplace relations straddle both the social and economic areas of public policy.
“FAIRNESS FOR ALL – THROUGH COMMONSENSE AND FLEXIBLLITY”
It is a great honour to be invited to provide this year’s dinner address to the H.R. Nicholls Society.
As a Tasmanian I am delighted to be able to make a small contribution to also honour the name of H.R. Nicholls a former editor of the “Hobart Mercury” - my local paper.