SIMON BIRMINGHAM: What we’re witnessing from the Labor Party at present is a near condemned house undergoing a dodgy makeover. What we’re seeing is the Labor Party putting a new façade on the condemned house in the name of a new leader with Kevin Rudd and they’re now going to go through a process of looking at the gaping cracks in the foundations and the gaping cracks in the wall and whacking a bit of Polyfilla in here and there, slapping a paint job on and hoping they can con the Australian people into believing that everything’s now all okay. Well, the truth is: the foundations of this house are still shaky and it still deserves to be condemned.
Today, they’re apparently going to start to look at whether they can rename the carbon tax. That’s all it will really be – an attempt to rename the carbon tax – because a tweaking of what the carbon tax may look like in the next year or two won’t change what the carbon tax will be for the next five, ten or 20 years. It will still be a carbon tax that goes to $38 in 2020, some 150 per cent-plus of the current price. It will still be a carbon tax that will go to $350 by 2050, so we’ll see the carbon tax spiral up and up and up whatever it is this Government does, even if it does adopt some renaming, repackaging of it for the next year or two.
Similarly, no doubt the Government will come up with something around boats and how they claim they’ve got a new approach but we know that Kevin Rudd was the Prime Minister that undid the policies of the Howard Government and opened up the influx of boats coming back to Australia.
So, at its heart, this Government has shaky foundations, has condemned Australia to having a huge debt and its ongoing deficits in the years ahead and really the Australian people, I have confidence over the coming days or weeks, whenever it is until Kevin Rudd stops playing games and names an election date… the Australian people will ultimately see and judge the Government for its many failures over the last six years.
JOURNALIST: [unclear]
SIMON BIRMINGHAM: I think the Australian people will ultimately judge on the issues. Kevin Rudd will want this to be a personality campaign but it’s not about personality. It’s about the Government’s failure to manage the budget, failure to manage our borders, failure to assist Australians with cost of living. These are still the core issues and once we get past the hype of Rudd’s return and all of the personality that he will do and his gimmicky language and his tricks and his games and get back to the issues, the Australian people will see they’re the same issues caused by the same Labor Party with the same problems faced into the future.
JOURNALIST: [unclear]
SIMON BIRMINGHAM: We always knew this would be a difficult election to win. We were never going to take it for granted under Julia Gillard. We’re not going to take it for granted under Kevin Rudd. We have a plan for the future of Australia. Ours is a plan we’ve been working on for the last three years. Kevin Rudd’s going to try to con people with a plan that he implements over the next few days.