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We have come together today to close the curtain on 2021, and to set the stage for 2022.
To get ready, to get organised, to get excited.
Because we have a mammoth job waiting for us in the New Year.
It is our task to see off this Liberal Government – and the liar who leads it.
It is our task to deliver a Labor government for our nation.
It is our task to renew the promise of Australia – good jobs, a fair society, a secure life for all.
And it is our task to make Anthony Albanese the next Prime Minister of this country.
Because after eight years, the government must change.
HISTORY OF LIBERAL FAILURE
Eight years of real wages going backwards.
Eight years of prices going up and up.
Eight years of cuts to apprenticeships and TAFE.
Eight years of inaction on climate change and eight years of ignoring renewables.
Eight years of Liberals helping themselves, while leaving Australians behind.
And after eight long years Australians are right to ask – when does it get better? If you can’t help us after eight years, why on earth should we keep you there for three more?
So, at the coming election, I urge all Australians to consider this question:
The past eight years have been good for Mr Morrison – but have the past eight years been good for you?
Scott Morrison is all about the marketing. And Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister, is just a character from a low rent, late night commercial.
The baseball cap, the Sharks scarf, the cringey, corny slogans – this bloke is completely full of it.
“ScoMo”. You know who came up with that nickname? He did. This guy gave a nickname to himself.
Everything about Scott Morrison is fake. It’s all made up.
And there’s one lie that says everything. We’ve all seen the photo ops of Morrison wrapped in his Sharks scarf, making out he’s been a dyed in the wool supporter from birth. He even calls the Prime Ministerial plane Shark One.
Who was your favourite player as a kid?
What number was on the back of your Sharks’ jumper?
And where did you go to watch the 1978 Grand Final or the Replay?
I can tell you that Scotty from Marketing doesn’t have an answer to any of these questions. Because the truth is this bloke doesn’t have a single memory of the Cronulla Sharks that predates his Liberal preselection, because that’s precisely when he picked up that scarf.
He never tells the truth – that he switched codes and switched teams, that the Sharks is an affectation not a passion, because it suits him politically.
And that’s because he has a pathological problem with the truth.
Scott Morrison lies for a living.
It’s his willingness to lie, his instinct for it, his skill at it – that should trouble us all.
Because it’s dangerous. If he’s willing to lie about who he is then where does it end?
He lied about going to Hawaii while Australia was burning.
He lies in the Parliament. He lies on the public record.
He lies to his colleagues. And he lies to heads of state.
He lied his way into the Lodge – just ask Malcolm Turnbull.
Every day he lies about Labor’s policies.
He even lies about lying.
He lies because he thinks he can. Because he thinks so little of the public who placed him in the privileged office he holds.
It’s easy to lie to people when you don’t respect them.
Behind that smug smirk is Scott Morrison’s barely masked contempt for the people of Australia.
And Australia needs a leader – not a liar.
Because Morrison’s lies won’t lift your wages.
Morrison’s lies won’t make child care more affordable.
Morrison’s lies won’t reverse the cuts to apprenticeships or fix our broken TAFE system.
Morrison’s lies won’t cut carbon emissions or create new jobs in renewables.
Morrison’s lies are not a plan for Australia’s future.
But I know someone who does have a plan for our country: Anthony Albanese.
A man who has spent his entire life telling it straight – because he doesn’t know any other way.
A man who doesn’t need a focus group to tell him what side to be on. Because he’s always backed hard working Australians. He’s always been on your side.
A man who lives and breathes Australian values.
Albo has never schemed or plotted to be the prime minister. But over decades of faithful service, he has built the skills, the experience and the character that we need in a prime minister.
His mum taught him to believe in three things – the Catholic Church, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, and the Australian Labor Party.
His love of the Rabbitohs is not made up. His Souths jumper as a kid had number 1 on its back: Eric Simms. One of his favourite childhood memories was sitting on the Hill at the SCG with his Mum watching the Rabbitohs beat St George in the 1971 Grand Final. And barracking for the Rabbitohs is not for political purposes. In fact, it has nothing to do with politics at all. It’s just him. And it’s been him for as long as he can remember. Because footy is about tribe and identity and passion, not votes.
And as he loves Souths, he loves the Labor Party. He knows it’s bigger than one person. He doesn’t see it as a platform to advance his own personal interests. He’s always been a humble servant in its cause: a cause in which he fervently believes.
Albo is not a gimmick. He’s not a prop or a fake. Anthony is the genuine article. He is the real deal
This coming contest is between two competing ideas of what Australia is, and what we can be.
But it’s also a contest between two people – and how their character will help shape our country’s future.
And when it comes to character there is a chasm that divides Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese.
Scott Morrison has made a career out of trickery and deception rolled up into three second sound bites.
Albo is one of the most authentic and decent people I have met. He is a man of great integrity. And over the last few years, as I have come to know him better, I realise just how much it is an honour to be his deputy and a privilege to be his friend.
CONTEST AND FINAL PUSH
Election victories are never handed to our party on a platter.
They are hard fought and hard earned.
We cannot rely on the tiredness and the trickery of this hopeless government.
This contest is far, far too critical for us to simply coast along.
Because none of us want to be standing in a half-empty hall on election night, staring into a flat beer, asking ourselves –
What if I had made just one more phone call?
What if I had knocked on just one more door?
What if I had donated just one more dollar?
Because every call counts. Every conversation counts. Every contribution counts.
It all counts towards ending this government, and starting a new era for Australia –
With a new Labor Government.
In good times and in tough times, in government and in opposition – whenever our party has needed Anthony – he’s been there. Putting his party and his country ahead of himself. Answering the call to service, every time.
And now Albo needs us.
Now, it’s up to us. It’s up to us to do everything we can –
To help make Albo the Prime Minister of Australia.
Because that’s what Australia needs.
A Prime Minister who puts the country first.
A Prime Minister with a plan for a better future.
So friends, please join me in welcoming –
Our mate. Our leader. Our next Prime Minister –