TRANSCRIPT: Coalition Campaign Launch address, 12 May 2019
THE Nationals and the Liberals have a relationship built on mutual understanding and respect, dating back to the formation of the Liberal Party in the 1940s.
When I sat down with Scott Morrison after he became Liberal Leader last year, we discussed our priorities. Priorities for the people we represent.
At the top of both of our lists was one word, just one word: drought.
Right from that first moment, right from that very first point, he understood, he got it. Within days he was heading to the Queensland town of Quilpie, his first trip on the Monday of his first week as Prime Minister.
Almost as quickly came the next stage of what now amounts to more than $7 billion in drought assistance measures, the largest this nation has ever seen.
Then just like that, drought turned to flood, ravaging northern Queensland.
Again, Scott Morrison was there to act, cutting through the bureaucracy and the process to provide another $3.5 billion in crucial measures. That’s a Prime Minister who gets it, that’s a Prime Minister who acted, doesn’t wait, gets on with it and acts.
This is a person who gets things done. He sees a problem and he finds a solution, unlike our opponents who are great at making problems and then making others pay for it.
Of course, you don't find $10 billion just like that. That's big money, in anyone's language. You need to have a strong economy to pay for all those things. We found it because the Coalition - all of us - believe in running a strong economy. When the needs are greatest, we can afford to act.
While we are two separate parties, we have always sought to act in the best interest of those who elect us to lead the Government of the greatest nation on earth.
This fundamental principle is what has bound the Liberals and The Nationals for so many years in Coalition – it’s the most successful political partnership in Australia's history.
Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg, Bridget McKenzie and I have our robust discussions about issues important to each of our parties, but we do so efficiently, we settle on an outcome and then go out to ensure the decision is delivered, the right way for all Australians.
We have done it together. And together we have delivered.
It is a process that has now seen more than 600 government initiatives delivered, which focus on creating jobs, which focus on driving economic activity, all have a real impact on people in regional Australia now and into the future.
Since the Liberals and Nationals were elected in 2013, we have delivered more than $33 billion for projects, programs and communities in regional Australia, a record by any measure.
While we are proud of what we have delivered, we know there is much more work to do.
It's now less than a week until polling day and from what have we seen Labor does not have a plan for regional Australia. Nothing, not a plan. No Vision.
Regional Australians aren't on Labor's radar. Labor doesn't understand, nor Labor, sadly doesn't care about regional Australians.
Bill Shorten would hit regional households with billions of dollars in new and higher taxes.
The risk is real, Bill Shorten and Labor have not yet announced a plan for jobs in regional Australia.
Labor voted against the Drought Future Fund in the Parliament - a $3.9 billion investment, growing to $5 billion in the future. It’s a future for agriculture, it’s a future for our regions, but Labor could not bring themselves to support it.
Between 2007 and 2013, Labor did not build, install, fund, promise one mobile black spot phone tower.
Funding programs that generate productivity such as the Building Better Regions Fund are in doubt. Labor cut and diverted these programs when last in Government. We have committed more than $3 billion to water infrastructure. This would not happen, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, under Labor.
Labor would expand damaging Queensland-style vegetation management laws right across the country, hurting Australian farmers. There are still many unanswered questions on what Labor's new laws would entail and how they would impact the Australian jobs, Australia’s economy.
I say to farmers: we value what you do. Thank you for what you do. And I am proud to be in a government which wants to ensure Australian children, all children, know where and how their food and fibre, the best food and fibre in the world, comes from and that is Australian farms.
Labor wants to shut down our resources sector - our energy-supplying, export-earning, economy-driving, job-creating mining industry.
We want to back those who work in our primary industries, those who live off the land. Indeed the Nationals and the Liberals back all regional people and all Australians and we do it every day.
We have a plan to keep delivering, we are investing a record $100 billion on infrastructure, in the right place right across this nation. Because every place is the right place for infrastructure and we’re getting on and we’re doing it.
We want Australians to be their best selves and we have the plan, we have the passion, we have the positivity and we have the Prime Minister to do just that.
Thank you very much.