Sunday 11th October, 2015 Australia/Sydney

Australian Conservative

Election to be a referendum on carbon tax, economic management, Abbott says

“The coming election will be a referendum on the carbon tax. Above all, it will be a referendum on economic management,” Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said in Thursday’s National Press Club address.

Here is an extract from Tony Abbott’s address:

In a series of landmark speeches – published as a book you can download called A Stronger Australia – I’ve presented the Coalition’s positive plans for a stronger economy, stronger communities, stronger borders, a cleaner environment and modern infrastructure.

So far, the Coalition has made literally dozens of big policy commitments:

• We’ll abolish the carbon tax – because it’s the quickest way to reduce power prices.

• We’ll abolish the mining tax – because it’s the quickest way to boost investment and jobs.

• And we’ll cut red tape costs by at least $1 billion a year – to give small business a much-needed break.

• By restoring the jobs growth of the Howard government, there’ll be two million more jobs over a decade.

• There’ll be border protection policies that have been proven to stop the boats.

• And there’ll be revitalised work for the dole.

• There’ll be a swift start on Melbourne’s East-West link, on Sydney’s WestConnex and on Brisbane’s Gateway motorway upgrade.

• And the Pacific Highway will finally be duplicated well within this decade.

• We’ll reduce emissions by planting more trees, delivering better soils and using smarter technology rather than a carbon tax that just sends our jobs overseas.

• There’ll be a one-stop-shop for faster environmental approvals.

• There’ll be a fully restored tough cop on the beat, the Australian Building and Construction Commission, to deliver $5 billion a year in productivity improvements.

• There’ll be the same penalties for union officials and company officers who commit the same offence.

• There’ll be schools and hospitals run by community leaders, not by distant bureaucrats, so they’re more responsive to the parents and patients they serve.

• There’ll be a new Colombo Plan that’s a two way street between Australia and our region sending our best and brightest to study in the region and bringing their best here.

• There’ll be a comprehensive review of childcare so it’s more responsive to the 24/7 needs of today’s working families.

• There will be no unexpected changes that are detrimental to people’s superannuation.

• There will be no further reductions in defence spending – that’s already fallen to the lowest level, as a percentage of GDP, since 1938.

• And we will protect spending on medical research where Australia’s talented scientists give us such a comparative advantage.

These are all commitments that we’ve already made and that you can trust me to keep.

Our first commitment is to repeal the carbon tax.

The Prime Minister says that it will never happen but I’m not like her and don’t operate by her standards.

Laws that one parliament has passed, the next parliament can repeal.

When I say “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”, I am telling the truth.

All along, the Coalition has been following a three year plan.

• Year one was for articulating our values.

• Year two was for making policy commitments.

• And year three is for releasing specific policies in the run up to the election.

The government thinks that by announcing September 14 as polling day, it can force the Coalition to announce all our policy detail now.

The Coalition will release our costings after the government releases theirs – after the Budget and before polling day.

It won’t be easy to find the savings to fund tax cuts without a carbon tax but we won’t shirk the hard decisions, such as being up front with people that the school kids’ bonus will go – because it’s a cash splash with borrowed money that has nothing to do with education.

Between now and polling day, we will be constantly developing our policy commitments so that you know exactly what will happen should the government change.

On broadband, I’ve often said that the Coalition will deliver higher speeds sooner and more affordably than Labor’s nationalised monopoly NBN.

We’re committed to super high speed broadband that’s affordable for everyone and built sooner rather than later.

But with so many competing priorities, the last thing Australians need is another $50 billion plus in borrowed money to deliver higher speeds – but only in a decade’s time and at about triple the current monthly price.

We won’t throw good money after bad but we won’t dismantle what’s been built.

Our fibre-to-the-node plan will deliver superfast broadband for a fraction of the price and in a fraction of the time required to deliver fibre to the front door.

Read the full version of Tony Abbott’s National Press Club address.

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