This section contains a selection of speeches prior to 2010 and more comprehensive additions from the resumption of Parliament in 2010. Full collection of speeches can be found on ParlInfo

Address to NSW Industrial Relations Society 14th May 2010

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!


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Speech Parliament - Senate Chamber 10/5/2010

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?


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ANZAC Day Address - Flinders Island

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.

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Address to Australian Industry Group National PIR Conference

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.

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Speech - H.R. Nichols Society


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.

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Question Time Wed 3rd February

Workplace Relations

Senator ABETZ (2.53 pm)Mr President, my question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Senator Arbib.

I refer the minister to the forced outcome between Total Marine Services and the MUA in relation to semiskilled workers in the offshore oil and gas sector. What, if any, productivity offsets have been achieved as part of that agreement?

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Address to the Young Liberal Movement Gala Ball

Theme: The Culture Wars and Political Correctness: how to win the hearts and minds of Australians

I am delighted to fill in for The Honorable Alexander Downer. He is always doing the people’s work, on this occasion at the United Nations (if that isn’t an oxymoron). We wish him well in his endeavors.

Alexander Downer, besides being a great Parliamentarian with a great sense of humor, is a true Liberal conservative with a hunger and passion to advocate the timeless truths of our beliefs.

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Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 [No. 2] - Third Reading

On this day, as Australians face yet another interest rate rise courtesy of Labor’s reckless spending, we as a coalition will oppose this reckless, complex and confusing package of 11 Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme bills, which impose nothing but a giant tax on everything. Make no mistake—these bills will cost Australian jobs, will cost Australian wealth and will make no difference to the world’s environment.

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About Eric

Eric Abetz has been a Liberal Senator for Tasmania since 1994 and has served in a range of Leadership, Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial roles.

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