ADDRESS TO CAMPAIGN LAUNCH - By Deputy Leader of the Opposition Julie Bishop

A speech by Deputy Leader of the Opposition Julie Bishop


25 August 2013

Premier Campbell Newman, former Prime Minister John Howard, colleagues, Liberals and friends.

As I have been travelling around Australia campaigning with our fabulous group of candidates there have been some messages coming through loud and clear.

People are telling me, ‘we don’t want another three years like the last three years’.

People are telling me Australia cannot afford, literally cannot afford, another three years of a Labor Government.

People are telling me that they are longing for an end to the chaos, the dysfunction, the incompetence and are longing for a return to stability and certainty and competent government. A government that can create a positive environment for jobs, that has a positive plan for the future and can boost consumer and business and investment confidence but messages in campaigns can come in different ways.

On day one of the campaign I was in Corangamite, the most marginal seat in the country, with our fabulous candidate Sarah Henderson. The local and national media were all there and Sarah and I went out doorknocking. That’s a high risk strategy. You never know who’s behind the door but we were warmly welcomed.

Not so across town. The Labor candidate was handing out leaflets, the cameras were rolling, and a man came up to him and said, ‘You Labor?’. He then turned around, pulled down his track pants, bared his buttocks to the world and said ‘well Labor can kiss my…’.

Next day the Geelong Advertiser reported, ‘the first crack has appeared in Labor’s campaign’.

But seriously Australia, we need to talk about Kevin. You see Kevin wants to be Prime Minister – again - and his colleagues in the Labor Party, those who work with him, those who know him well, say that he’s not up to the job. They tell us that he doesn’t have the temperament, the discipline or the character.

In fact just a few days before Kevin rolled Julia, one of Labor’s most senior ministers, a former national secretary of the ALP no less, said Kevin 'can’t govern, he hasn’t got the courage or the strength that’s required’.

So the Labor Party itself is telling us that Kevin is trying to con people into believing he’s something that he’s not.

Remember back in 2007 when Kevin claimed he was an economic conservative and then once in government he went on the biggest spend-a-thon with Australian taxpayer’s money we’d ever seen? And he’s still giving cheques, $900 cheques to backpackers who went back to England five years ago.

Remember when Kevin said in his budget-in-reply speech in 2007 that governments must live within their means? They mustn’t spend more than they earn, and yet he’s driven the budget into deficit and he’s racked up record levels of debt.

Remember in 2007 when Kevin promised to be tough on border protection and said that he’s send in the navy to turn around boats? And then when he got into office he re-opened the flood gates to the people smugglers.

But what about two weeks ago? Two weeks ago to this day, Kevin Rudd said he wanted to put an end to negative politics and then spent each and every day with relentless negativity - and the worst is yet to come.

You see the trouble with Kevin is he’s a fake. All these multiple personalities....

He wants you to believe that he’s cool and funky Kevin, he’s 'cooking with gas'. He wants you to think he’s ocker Kevin, ‘fair suck of the sauce bottle mate’. He wants you to think he’s nerdy Kevin with his 'programmatic specificity'. He wants you to think he’s pious Kevin with his stage managed press conferences on Sundays outside of church.

But then there’s bad tempered Kevin who uses four letter expletives to describe his own staff and Chinese officials. You see there’s arrogant Kevin. There’s abusive Kevin. He reminds me of the Incredible Hulk. You know masquerading as the mild-mannered every man but instead he’s actually suppressing a monster inside, and he's suddenly unleashed on an unsuspecting public servant or a flight steward or heaven help a make-up artist.

The Labor Party themselves are telling us that Kevin Rudd is not fit for the job. What does it say to you when one third of the Labor Cabinet would rather quit their Ministerial jobs, take a massive pay cut, give up the prestige of the position, rather than have to spend one day working with Kevin Rudd? Not even one day.

If his own party don’t believe in Kevin Rudd and they’ve sacked him once why should the Australian people ever trust him in the top job again?

In contrast, Tony Abbott is the real deal. He is authentic. When Tony Abbott talks about the society he wants Australia to embrace it’s based on the personal contribution that he makes, the personal commitment that he makes to the betterment of our community.

Tony Abbott spends his own time working in remote indigenous communities. He spends his own time as a volunteer surf life saver, as a volunteer fire fighter, not as some stunt for the cameras but because of his genuine commitment to build a better world and when you see Tony on his Pollie Pedal cycling around Australia, raising over $1 million for health and medical research and for charities - you can believe him.

When he says he wants to build a better and fairer Australia as Prime Minister, that he wants to see Australians get a fair go through hope and reward and opportunity, you can believe him because that’s what he does. That is who he is.

And Tony Abbott’s team want to serve with him. We want to work with Tony Abbott as our strong and collegiate and inspiring leader. He brings out the best in his team.

So the Australian people can be confident that we have the values, we have the policies, we have the team and we have the leader to change government for the better in this country.

Kevin Rudd assumes that this election is all about him. Tony Abbott and our team know, believe, that it is all about you the Australian people and we stand ready to serve.

Ladies and gentleman please welcome a true gentleman of Australian politics - the leader of the National Party, Warren Truss.


Copyright 2007