SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

SPEECH

8 May 2019

SA PRESS CLUB OPENING ADDRESS – ADELAIDE

*** check against delivery ***

(Acknowledgments omitted)

Friends, fellow South Australians, this is an election about real change.

Real change for the nation and for our state.

This is also an election to rebuild trust.

Trust in our political process, our elected representatives and in our political institutions.

Because we shouldn’t forget what has happened over the last six years.

And we know that more of the same isn’t good enough.

In 2013, Tony Abbott was elected on a platform of negativity and delivered nothing but broken promises and cuts that left South Australians worse off, shut down our car industry and tried to send our submarines to Japan.

In 2016, we had Mr Turnbull – who backed in the cuts and brought more chaos.

And what do we have this year? Scott Morrison complete with baseball cap.

A man whose entire campaign has been about attacking Labor and who is so lacking in ideas he’s announced his own campaign launch will be all about Bill Shorten.

A man who can’t and won’t protect the Murray from eastern state Liberals and Nationals.

A man who has engaged in fear and smear with gusto, but can’t and won’t do anything about climate change.

Ever.

Mr Morrison can’t talk about his own record because Australians know what it is – tax cuts for the top end of town, while cutting funding to schools and hospitals.

A man who cut the pension, and left one in four families worse off with child care changes.

And now Mr Morrison is trying to ride back into government on the coat tails of Clive Palmer and One Nation.

Same division. Same chaos. Same instability.

And Australians pay the price.

I know that in an election there can be a lot of noise, a lot of conflict and a lot of distraction.

But at their heart – elections are a contest and a choice about our future.

What sort of future do we want for ourselves, our family, our community and for South Australia?

So we could have more of the same.

We could protect some of the best tax loopholes in the world as the Liberals want to do or we can properly fund our hospitals, cut waiting lists and expand emergency departments like Flinders Medical Centre.

As today’s front page of the Advertiser reminds us – South Australia is battling an ‘unprecedented’ flu epidemic with tragic consequences.

Investment in health matters.

We could promise millionaires an $11,000 tax cut per year or we could give pensioners and seniors’ health card holders not just more dental care, but more dignity in their later years.

We could spend at least $77 billion on giving tax cuts to the wealthy suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne – tax cuts that see not a single South Australian electorate in the top 20 who benefit, and our northern suburbs in the electorate of Spence, stone cold bottom of the list.

Or we could invest in our children – in two years of early learning and in better schools, more university places and investing $28.5 million to upgrade South Australia’s TAFE facilities and provide more than 21,800 apprenticeships and TAFE places with no upfront fees to South Australians.

For South Australians this election is a clear choice –

Between a Labor Party that will take real action on climate change and ramp up investment in renewables or a Liberal Party that is paralysed by denial and internal division.

Between a Labor Party that will protect and restore penalty rates, deliver a living wage and push for equal pay for women, and Liberals who boast that low wage growth is a “deliberate design feature” of their system.

It’s a choice between a Labor Party that will deliver tax breaks for investment and employment, and a Liberal Party who want to give a tax break to the banks.

And it is a choice between the Labor Party who is and always will be committed to saving the Murray-Darling and the party of Barnaby Joyce.

This election is about all of these things, and more.

But it is also about the basic compact between those of us up here and the voters.

One party has told you what we are going to deliver and how we are going to pay for it.

We have been upfront and honest because Australians should demand nothing less.

One party has demonstrated unity and stability for the past six years.

And one party has ensured that the interests of our state are heard and addressed – with half the Labor leadership team and four Cabinet Ministers hailing from South Australia.

On the other side, we have got Christopher Pyne riding off into the sunset, leaving poor Senator Birmingham on his own.

It really does come back to one key question.

If you vote for Scott, do really think the chaos will end?

Palmer, Hanson and Morrison. More chaos. More division.

South Australians have always needed a Federal Government that stands by us.

Not a Liberal Government that just looks to the eastern states and the top end of town.

Trickle-down economics doesn’t work. And it doesn’t work here in South Australia.

So if you want better hospitals and schools, not more cuts – vote Labor.

If you want real action on climate change, not more denial and division – vote Labor.

If you want unity and stability, not three more years of chaos – vote Labor.

And if you want a fair go for South Australians – vote Labor.

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.