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Tony Abbott tells LNP he is 'rescuing our country'

Date

Kim Stephens

Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks at the LNP state conference in Brisbane.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks at the LNP state conference in Brisbane. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

On the coldest Brisbane morning in more than a century, Tony Abbott received the warmest of receptions when he addressed the LNP faithful at its annual conference on Saturday.

Border protection, the carbon tax repeal and the new composition of the Senate predictably formed the key components of the prime minister’s half hour long speech and while applause came thick and fast inside the Royal International Convention Centre at the RNA Showgrounds, the reception was frostier from a small group of protestors outside.

Though vocal, the group failed to disrupt the delivery of Mr Abbott’s speech, and both he and foreign minister Julie Bishop managed to give the protesters the slip, the prime minister opting for a side entrance on his flying visit to the river city.

Inside, Mr Abbott mused on what he termed an “interesting week” in the Senate, in which Clive Palmer, whose trio of senators hold the balance of power, announced they would block the repeal of the carbon tax.

He vowed to push ahead with repealing the controversial, Labor-imposed tax.

“Mr Palmer will change his mind come Monday but (Opposition Leader) Bill Shorten will still be there, supporting putting your power prices up,” he said.

A week after Queensland premier Campbell Newman spruiked his own state-saving record, Mr Abbott, to much crowd enthusiasm, similarly spruiked himself as the nation’s saviour, while defending his much-maligned budget.

“You and we are rescuing our country ... it is only us who can rescue our country right now,” he said.

“I would much rather be delivering a tough but necessary budget than justifying incompetence and trying to explain away dishonesty.

“Isn’t it refreshing to have a government that says what it means and does what it says?”

On another of his key election promises, stopping the boats, Mr Abbott defended his government’s tough border protection measures, following a week in which immigration minister Scott Morrison came under fire for the secrecy surrounding the fate of 153 south Asian asylum seekers, who were held at sea by Australian authorities.

“I'm not declaring victory but my friends we are stopping those boats,” he said.

“The most compassionate thing we could do was stop the boats.

“Stopping the boats stops the deaths, that's why the most decent and compassionate thing this government has done is for more than six months ensured no successful people smuggling venture to this country.

“We will never waiver, we must have secure borders, the sign of a sovereign country is secure borders.”

The prime minister also again defended some of his more controversial budget measures, such as university deregulation and the Medicare co-payment, some of which formed the basis of the protest outside.

“I know there are many tough elements of this budget but the Australian people want to be told the truth,” he said.

“When you leave school you will be earning or learning.

“And yes, we do want to see a modest co-payment for Medicare services, we want our great health system to be sustainable for the long term.”

Mr Abbott also canvassed his government’s $50 billion infrastructure spend, his $20 billion medical research fund and a budget slowly returning to surplus.

“The Coalition is carefully and methodically fulfilling the commitments we made to the Australian people,” he said.

“We want an Australia where each generation can leave to its children a better life, that is the Australia we are building.

“Good government is not about us, it's about you.”

277 comments

  • Saving us from what exactly? The only thing Abbott could save us from is prosperity.

    Commenter
    Average Joe
    Date and time
    July 12, 2014, 3:25PM
    • What do they expect for voting him in?

      Commenter
      The Other Guy1
      Date and time
      July 12, 2014, 3:49PM
    • So you want the teenagers back racking up charges on your credit card.

      Commenter
      preacher
      Date and time
      July 12, 2014, 4:04PM
    • All I can say is thank God for Tony Abbot. My electricity bill went up a few percent because of the Carbon Tax. I lost my job because of the Carbon Tax. The Carbon Tax stole my wife and now my kids call the Carbon Tax DAD (Damn you Mr ETS) The Carbon Tax has decimated (I'm reliably informed) our nation and its industry. And unless the Carbon Tax is put down there's a chance Summer will be 3 degrees cooler next year.

      Thank you TA for saving me, my wife, the kids, the economy, the country and our summer vacation.

      Commenter
      Peter
      Location
      Oz
      Date and time
      July 12, 2014, 4:07PM
    • In his hubris, he thinks he is saving us from his own concocted budget crisis, and from an international climate change conspiracy. What he is actually doing is sending Australia to the back of the pack as the world gears up to embrace sustainable energy. What he is doing is leaving current and future generations of Australians with an economy built around the mining of coal, just as the rest of the world swears off coal as a toxic substance. What he is doing is to make Australia an international laughing stock.

      What he is doing is everything that a competent, rational and sensible government would not.

      Commenter
      Cee Bee
      Location
      COAL-ition Insanity
      Date and time
      July 12, 2014, 4:11PM
    • Let's go back to Labor, Rudd and Gillard can come back and keep borrowing and borrowing with no plan on how to pay it back, and Swanny can keep delivering forecasts that are out by billions of dollars. That should get Australia back to prosperity.

      Commenter
      adrian
      Date and time
      July 12, 2014, 4:18PM
    • I am so tired of reading all the leftie remarks in the Fairfax press. It is simply pathetic.
      We need to reduce the debt and we need to reduce it now. How you are all content to leave all this debt for your families is beyond me, your children will be paying for all this down the track.
      Labor caused this debt and so they should accept they have some responsibility to reduce it. Shorten has no policies, no plans and no guts.

      The carbon tax was brought in WITHOUT the mandate of the Nation - it is a tax borne on a lie. Then we have the Labor Party say at the last election our Labor policy is to scrap the carbon tax - then they loose the election and they vote to keep the carbon tax - so much for Labor! More lies.

      This is all Labors fault, they do not give a damn, thumb their nose at the Nation and just act like a wrecking ball. Yes we needed Palmer to axe the carbon tax but that is because Labor did not keep its election policy to scrap it. The tax could have been axed months ago if Labor had any integrity and did the right thing. It is scandalous all the lies and misleading information that is going around.

      You think Labor will win the next election?? No way, they will end up with around 20% of the vote which is all they deserve. Labor has changed the politics in Australia to being ugly, yes ugly, it is a disgrace.

      Commenter
      Becy
      Date and time
      July 12, 2014, 4:22PM
    • Tony gets more delusional every day he is in office. More and more detached from reality. If he needs to rescue us I think he needs to go back to his bush fire brigade - permanently and the sooner the better.

      Commenter
      DaveB
      Date and time
      July 12, 2014, 4:28PM
    • We need to be saved from Tony Abbott!
      Also, Peter, looks like you got a new job fast as a Liberal Party spin doctor (say 'Hi' to Hacka)

      Commenter
      Dude
      Date and time
      July 12, 2014, 4:31PM
    • And first chance we get we will save the Country from you and all those with you on your ship of fools. Yours is little more than a parody of Government Abbott!

      Commenter
      fred
      Date and time
      July 12, 2014, 4:38PM

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