Tony Abbott Addresses the National Press Club in Canberra
The Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Tony Abbott MHR, made a brief visit to Canberra yesterday to deliver a nationally televised address to the National Press Club.
Addresses to the National Press Club by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition are a tradition of the final week of federal election campaigns.
Yesterday’s address was attended by senior members of the Coalition, including Liberal statesman, the Hon Philip Ruddock MP, who is travelling with the Leader during the campaign, Shadow Ministers Senator Mathias Cormann and Scott Morrison, as well as representatives of the business community in the national capital.
Mr Abbott used the address to reiterate the key messages of the Coalition campaign, stressing that real change requires a stable government in Canberra with a clear working majority, and reminding the Australian people that this outcome can only be achieved by voting for local Liberal or National Party candidates.
Central to Mr Abbott and the Coalition’s pitch is a return to strong economic management, as well as restoring accountability and integrity back into Australian politics.
A key point of differentiation was the strength, unity and experience of his team against the uncertainty brought about by the current Government over the last six years. Mr Abbott promised that, if elected, he would lead a government that “says what it means, and does what it says”.
Citing the Coalition’s contract with the Australian people, an Abbott-led government would:
- Build a stronger economy
- Scrap the carbon tax
- Stop the waste
- Turn back the boats; and
- Build the roads of the 21st Century.
Preferring to focus on the Coalition’s positive plans for the future, Mr Abbott also detailed the rationale for abolishing the carbon tax, describing it as “an act of economic self-harm” to the Australian economy. A product of the Labor/Greens alliance and implemented without a mandate, the carbon tax hits households, threatens jobs, damages the economy – all without any real benefits for the environment. If elected, Mr Abbott would instruct the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, on his first day in office, to begin drafting legislation to repeal the carbon tax. The aim would be to abolish the tax within a year, pushing down utility bills for Australian households and businesses.
Mr Abbott’s performance was strong and confident, particularly in response to questions from the media. After 28 gruelling days on the official campaign trail, Mr Abbott presented as an enthusiastic and focused leader, match-fit and ready to occupy Australia’s highest office.
If given that privilege by voters on 7 September, Mr Abbott said that he would want the world to know that “Australia is under new management and once more, open for business”.
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