Subjects: Victorian Election; Scott Morrison; Kelly O’Dwyer; Victorian infrastructure.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good Morning. Yesterday saw one of the worst performances from a Government in Question Time that I’ve seen in my two decades in this place. You have a Prime Minister who tried to argue that the Victorian outcome was one that actually reflected in a positive way on the Government. But of course, we know at the same time Kelly O’Dwyer was belling the cat on what Australians increasingly think of the modern Liberal Party. A modern Liberal Party that is out of touch with women, a modern Liberal Party that is out of touch with people who care about social justice, a modern Liberal Party that is dominated by the hard right and where everyone else has to fall into line.
We’ve seen also today Julie Bishop back the National Energy Guarantee, now that’s not surprising given that it went through the party room not once, but twice, while Malcolm Turnbull was the Prime Minister. And this is a Government that doesn’t have an energy policy. And then we saw the gross discourtesy of the Prime Minister and other ministers yesterday walking out straight after Question Time even though Dr Kerryn Phelps was giving her first speech to the Parliament, having won a by-election with an enormous swing away from the Government. Showing contempt for the voters of Wentworth as well as showing, quite frankly, just a lack of manners – just bad manners, when they walked out of the Parliament.
What we’ll see today, I’m sure, is more of the same. Because this is a Government that can’t explain why Scott Morrison is the Prime Minister of Australia rather than Malcolm Turnbull. If they can’t even explain that to the Australian people it’s no wonder that they’re being looked at the way they are, somewhat concerningly, by the Australian public. Scott Morrison does still have an opportunity, a window, to have an election this year. And given the state of his Government perhaps I’d suggest that’s the best option for him.
REPORTER: Do you think the Victorian Liberals are homophobic and misogynists?
ALBANESE: Kelly O’Dwyer, it is, who has said that is the perception of the Victorian Liberal Party and indeed, I think, she was reflecting on the Liberal Party as a whole. And that is from a senior Cabinet Minister in the Morrison Government. So if that’s the character assessment being made – I notice there’s a video going around of Michael Kroger’s assessment of Daniel Andrews’ Government that I think is a pretty accurate one, full of praise, and I also noticed that yesterday Scott Morrison in Question Time, praised the Andrews Government on infrastructure. That’s in spite of the fact that the Coalition Government, of which he was the Treasurer at the time, in the last financial year, delivered 7.7 per cent of the national infrastructure budget to Victoria. Even though Victoria is home to one-in-four Australians, Melbourne is Australia’s fastest growing city. So what we have is that the Andrews Government have been delivering on infrastructure, in spite of the failure of the Federal Coalition Government to give them appropriate support. They’ve politicised infrastructure investment in Australia. But Daniel Andrews and his government have got on with it, in spite of the fact that the Coalition Government have attempted to punish Victorians for having the temerity to vote Labor. Now perhaps it’s now time, for the Coalition Government to stop trying to punish the Andrews Government and to actually get on board and fund infrastructure in Victoria. Thanks very much.