TRANSCRIPT: Country Liberals Campaign Launch speech


I'm going in here and have a go and have a fight and achieve a lot of things to Canberra, and Canberra needs Nigel Scullion. It needs the experience, the seasoned experience that he's brought. But do you know what? He's retiring. He deserves to. He's had his seventeen years. He's had a go. He's achieved a lot. So we won't have Nige, but will have people who are going to go do those sorts of things that Nigel has done, and then do it in their own way. We're going to have people who are going to do it in their own unique style.

We're going to have Sam McMahon, she’s going to join us in the Senate. And if you think Nigel's good, wait till you see what Sam's going to do! She's going to achieve a lot. She is going to be so, so good.

And then, of course, we've got Kathy Ganley. How good is she? How hard has she worked? How hard has she worked!

Jacinta Price. Jacinta Price. Every time I've met her, every time I've talked to her, I've liked her more and more. And I liked her to start with. I love her now, because she is such a fighter. She is so resilient. She's going to get in there ...

And I welcome her mum, too. Tomorrow's mum's day. Put your hands together for all the mums. They know what it takes to win! They know what it takes to be a fighter. They know what it takes to be a Territorian. Well done.

And of course, Josh. Josh is going to have a crack too. It's a shame he can't be here, but he's in Alice Springs.

We back small business. We always do. Look, I can see out. There's another Josh in the audience today. I think his name is Josh Butler, and I'm really impressed with him. And also, I think it's Owen Pike. Have I got the names right? I hope I have. Stand up, guys. Have a look at them. All I can see out there is this sea of orange, and I tell you why I point out these two blokes. Because they've dyed their beards orange. How dedicated are they? How dedicated are they? They’ve dyed their beards orange. They're getting behind the Country Liberals. They're getting behind our fantastic candidates.

And there's also another little bloke here, his name is Angus. Right in the front row here. Angus, stand up, Angus. In fact, come out the front. Just come out here, mate. Angus has a cracking good company called Croc Candy. Now, this is the sort of entrepreneurial endeavour, this is the sort of small business people that we want to back. So if you haven't invested in some Croc Candy, do it, and when it goes public, get on the stock exchange and invest in his shares, because this bloke's going to make a fortune in the future and he's going to make it because of the hard work and dedication of our candidates. Well done, mate. Take a seat. Good on you.

Nigel's right. Ron Kelly was right. Everyone one when they say this is a transformational election, this is that once in a generation election. They are so right. We faced that in 2007, and sadly things were going well. Nige summed it up. We had tens of billions of dollars in reserve. We had tens of billions of dollars in surplus. We had future funds. We had funds in perpetuity to make sure that our country could be its best self. Then we had the ever fiscal conservative Kevin Rudd. Came in, held up his hands, said, "We need change." Said, "I'm a fiscal conservative." Said, "I'll keep the boats stopped." Said, "I'll look after the regions." Said, "I'll look after the territory," and blew the lot. Blew the absolute lot. Shame on him. Absolute shame on him.

And even Labor didn't like it! Hated it, so they kicked him out! They replaced him with someone who was worse. Fact is, we need absolutely another term, if not another term after that, if not another term after that to make sure that Australia, to make sure that the Northern Territory can be its best self. And you can only do that ... You can only do that with the Liberal Nationals. You can only do that with CLP in Canberra fighting for and on behalf of your interests. You can only do that if you put Sam in the upper house. You can only do that if you put Kathy and Jacinta in the lower house. We need these people. I need them. I need them.

As the Deputy Prime Minister, as somebody who has a bit to say around the cabinet table, we need them. Nige needs them for his legacy. We absolutely must make sure that the Territory has a proud, a strong, a loud, a vibrant voice in Canberra, because you know what? Labor won't. They'll talk a big game in their electorates, they'll talk a big game when they're out at Katherine or Tennant Creek or Alice Springs or Darwin or wherever the case might be. But they get to Canberra and they forget all that. They just become part of the Labor machine. They're just apparatchiks in the union movement. They just go along with the Greens.

And rest assured, all of the things that matter so much to Territorians, like the live cattle trade, well, that'll stop. Rest assured that will stop. The Greens? They are such a two-faced, double-faced, double crossing mob. Some of the things that they've said would ... on the eastern states, they'd be out on their ear. But they think it's okay up here in the Northern Territory. Well, their sort of attitude is not welcome. It is not welcome here and it's not welcome in Canberra, and they should be absolutely ashamed about what their candidate has said and what their candidate will, let's face it, do if ever they get into the halls of power.

We need to make sure that we've got strong CLP representation, and the only way you can do it is by voting 1 for these fine women here. They want to have a go. And it takes a bit of courage to put your hand on a ballot paper. It takes a lot of effort to get out and work for 12 months meeting, greeting people, and I couldn't believe the sort of people we met down at the markets today. I couldn't believe also the fact that Jacinta and Kathy knew them and knew their story and knew their history and knew their business and knew their achievements and knew what they wanted and knew their issues, and that only comes through hard work and dedication.

We met Vivian. We met Vivian who said, rest assured, she said, "If you people don't get in," she said, "Well, you can kiss our future goodbye." That's what she said and she was right, because we can kiss our future goodbye if Bill Shorten becomes Prime Minister. And then we had this chap who had dreadlocks, who had a bit of artwork, absolute champion. Absolute ripper of a bloke. And he said, "Do you know what? I voted Greens all my life," he said, "And I'm still a young bloke," but he said, "I'm going to vote CLP this time because I want a future. I want a future for myself and I want a future for Darwin and I want a future for the territory. This election I'm voting number 1 for Kathy." And he said, "I'm putting the Greens last."

Not the sort of thing that you'd expect to come out from an avowed Greens supporter, but he could see the difference. He could see how hard Kathy has worked and he could see that he needs a better future. He can see that he needs better job prospects, and that he can see with his own eyes what the Gunner government has done to this place. We don't want that replicated nationally. We cannot afford to have that replicated nationally. We need to send a strong message to Territorians that the CLP, the National Party, the Liberal Party will always have their back.

Scott Morrison has been the Prime Minister of this nation since August last year, and in that time he has moulded brilliantly, perfectly into the role. He's one of those blokes who can talk to the high end business people in a capital city, and he can also get out into a regional area and get out into a shearing shed and have a crack at shearing a sheep. And that takes a bit of effort. That takes a bit of guts. But he's a real, normal, down to earth, practical, pragmatic bloke. He wears his baseball cap that's got proudly Cronulla Sharks across the front of it. Okay, if you don't go for Cronulla, that's fine. I don't, but good luck to him. But he can also talk in a down to earth, real, good, practical, meaningful, empathetic way to anybody who comes across his path. He loves getting out and mixing with people. He is going to make one of the greatest modern day prime ministers if we give him another chance, and we need to give him that other chance.

We need to make sure that he returns to the Ledge. Because let me tell you, the other bloke is a bleak alternative. We will have a prime minister in the shape of Sally McManus. We will have a prime minister in the shape of Richard Di Natale, and we've seen what he's done to the territory the last couple of days. We've seen his beady mouth words. We will have a prime minister in the shape of the unions, in the shape of CFMEU, and we will have a prime minister in the shape of Get Up. That will be the prime minister that we have if Bill Shorten happens to become the prime minister. We cannot afford that. We do not want it. We want an Australia with a future. We want an Australia with jobs.

We want an Australia where the farms are valued, where the regions are valued, where the territory ... We are proud to call the territory as part of the rest of this nation, because it is, and we want to make sure that the legacy of Nigel remains a good one. We want to make sure that the hard work, the dedication, the effort that he's put in over the past 17 years is rewarded with another 3 years of a Liberal Nationals government which cares about the territory, which is going to do something really, really wonderful about the infrastructure, the roads, the ports, the CBD precincts, the beautification of the towns in the Northern Territory. That's the vision I've got as the infrastructure transport regional development minister. I want to work.

I want to work with my three wonderful colleagues and hopefully Josh too in the federal parliament to build a better Northern Territory. Not because you just need it. Not because I just want it. Not because these three representatives will fight hard for it. But because the territory deserves it. Because Australia deserves it. Because when the Northern Territory is gone, so too is our nation, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. When the Northern Territory is at its best, Australia is at its best. We have got three, four wonderful representatives. Four absolute champions. Get behind them. Thank you for everything that you've done in recent weeks and recent months to promote them, to support them, to help them, to get them where they are today. Thank you for what you've done.

This next week is going to be so critical. Get out there. Spread the word, spread the message. We're all the leaders, but we need more of you. We need more of them. We need to get that orange as a wonderful colour right across the territory. A colour that is going to swap the polling booths. The names of these people, we want them emblazoned in glory, emblazoned in high print right across every pre-poll. Every polling booth on election day. Because we know that we've got three wonderful, dedicated, fantastic candidates here. Make sure you get them to Canberra. It's up to you. It's up to all of us. Go CLP.

Shane Manning