Scott John Morrison (born 13 May 1968) is an Australian politician serving as the 30th and current Prime Minister of Australia having become the leader of the governing Liberal Party in August 2018. He previously served in Cabinet from 2013 to 2018, including as Treasurer.
Elections contested2019 and 2022
How good is it to be in Queensland? Thank you all very, very much.
How good? How good indeed.
Australians all one and free.
I acknowledge the Turbal and Yuggera peoples, the traditional custodians of the land on which we gather today and I pay my respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.
I honour all who have served or are serving in our Australian Defence Forces and I just thank them. I thank them for their courage, for their service and their love of our country.
I also honour those who, for the past two years in particular, have come together to support their fellow Australians in times of great need - our health workers, our researchers and scientists, our emergency workers, our community leaders.
We love our country.
And we gather at a time of great consequence and decision for our nation. For you, for your family, for our nation.
And three years ago, we faced a similar decision.
At that time I spoke to you about the promise of Australia, and how I planned to keep it as Prime Minister.
A promise that allows Australians, quietly going about their lives, to realise their simple, honest and decent aspirations.
Where you’re rewarded and respected for your efforts and your contribution. I said, if you have a go, you get a go.
An Australia where you accept, you know where you are accepted and you are valued regardless of your age, your ethnicity, your religion, your gender, your sexuality, your level of ability and your needs you may have, your wealth, your income.
An Australia where you can live in an economy that enables you and your family to enjoy the best possible living standards and be able to plan for your future with confidence.
A country where you can live in an environment that is clean and is healthy.
A country where, if you or your family, God forbid, get sick, you’ll get access to world-class and affordable healthcare.
A country where your children get the best possible start in life; a great education and they can grow up safe.
A country where older Australians are respected, where their savings are secure, and they get the help they need.
A country that honours the service and sacrifice of all those who have gifted us our freedoms.
A country that acknowledges our Indigenous Australians and strives to ensure that every single Indigenous girl and boy grows up in this country with the same opportunities as every other Australian. That’s the promise of Australia.
None of us could have imagined what followed that last election. We already knew drought, many years, particularly here in Queensland. We had already experienced devastating floods, particularly up in the North of Queensland. But more would follow, as we know and most recently as would the fires, as would the cyclones, the pandemic - 1 in 100 years - and the global recession it caused.
It’s been one of the most challenging times we have ever known. But I’m here to tell you today, that despite what we have faced, we have remained true to the promise of Australia, and Australia has prevailed. We have kept, as a Government, the promise of Australia.
And Australians, despite everything thrown at us, Australia has stood tall.
Our economic growth higher than all other advanced economies. Our AAA credit rating in tact – one of only nine countries to do that in the world.
The biggest Budget turnaround, Josh Frydenberg, in over 70 years. More Australians in work than ever before.
Unemployment at 4 per cent – the equal lowest level in nearly 50 years, and down from 5.7 per cent when we first came to Government. Youth unemployment, youth unemployment at 8.3 per cent, down from a peak of more than 16 per cent.
On almost every measure - growth, jobs, debt levels, fatality rates, vaccine rates – Australia’s recovery is leading the advanced world. But can I tell you from my heart and Michaelia Cash knows this probably better than anyone else, nothing fires me up more than seeing young people get into jobs. Nothing.
You know when Josh Frydenberg and I, Josh and I stood together before the Australian people in the early stages of that pandemic, back in March 2020, we stood in my courtyard, our courtyard down the PM’s courtyard down in Canberra, our nation was gripped by fear and uncertainty. We stood on the edge of an abyss.
And as we stared into it, Josh and I were confident of one fundamental truth. If we backed Australians, Australians would prevail. And so JobKeeper was born, and the many other measures that followed. Constantly supporting Australians to find their way forward.
We kept our head in the crisis. We knew when to step in and how, importantly, and when to step back. We made sure we got it right as best we could.
But we weren’t perfect, and not everything went to plan. But you know when it didn’t, and while others were criticising, we just worked feverishly to turn it around and make up the ground.
What followed was the largest economic and public health response in Australia’s history.
We gave our fellow Australians that assurance in those very difficult times that tomorrow would be OK, so they could say the same thing to their children, to their employees and I’m quite sure indeed to themselves also.
As a Leader, this was a time for strength, it was a time for pushing through. I had one focus as your Prime Minister - save the country. And we did. And we did.
We began setting up though at the same time, we just didn’t stop with that. We began even in the midst of the pandemic to set up the opportunities for on the other side of the pandemic.
No, it’s not just enough for Australians to just get through, to make it through.
We knew that Australia’s longer term success would be determined by what we did during the pandemic to set up for success on the other side.
And as you saw us battling this virus in real time, each day, we were also preparing at the same time, our country for the opportunities that we knew would come.
We kept the apprentices in training and we got more and more and more of them to join their ranks.
We backed businesses, particularly small, family, medium-sized businesses to invest in their post pandemic recovery with record tax incentives to go and purchase new equipment that would enable them to take on the new business that they also knew would follow.
We created the modern manufacturing plan to set up a new era in advanced manufacturing to take advantage of we knew would be the changes to supply chains on the other side of the pandemic.
We struck trade deals with the United Kingdom, with India most recently and ASEAN nations as well.
We got on with building of the big infrastructure projects and got on with the detailed planning of of the projects that would need to follow, so we could move ahead.
And we kept doing the work to guarantee essential services that Australians rely on, including our $19.1 billion in our response plan to the Aged Care Royal Commission that I called. A plan that is now being implemented.
We delivered a comprehensive and real plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 through technology, not taxes.
And we acted decisively to keep Australians safe, protecting our national security, in the face of threats and coercion.
Securing the most imprtant defence agreement with the United States and the United Kingdom, known as AUKUS, since ANZUS was made more than 70 years ago.
Friends, together we’ve been building an economic bridge to the other side, during a time of great global uncertainty. And here we are.
We now stand on a different edge to the one that I spoke of before. One that where fear doesn’t dominate, but aspiration, something we know a lot about as Liberals and Nationals, for the Australian people.
This requires a very different approach from us as a Government, to the mode we’ve had to be in over these many difficult years.
But it’s also been one that we have been preparing for, and we are ready to get on with, if you give us your support next Saturday. We stand on the edge of a new era of opportunity.
Better days are now ahead. But we cannot take them for granted.As a Government we have the higher gears to secure that opportunity.And I know our economic plan is working, because Australians are working.And we’re heading in the right direction.
I also know Australians, they’re tired of politics. It’s been an exhausting time and they’ve certainly had enough of Governments telling them how to live their lives and I agree.
But now we must focus on the choice that you are making at this election as it will have very real consequences for you and your family. And if re-elected, you will see me as your Prime Minister, our Government and our nation hit that extra gear needed to secure our nation’s future for those better days.
To make things truly better. To step beyond where we are today and put the pandemic behind us.
Only the Liberals and Nationals will be able to do this because we understand the Australian economy.
You know we are not loose units on the economy. We’re not uninformed or reckless on the economy.We know how our economy works.We know how to manage money.And those before us knew as well. And I acknowledge our former Prime Ministers here today in John Howard and Tony Abbott. They showed us the way and we follow that way.
We know what Government can do and, importantly though, what it can’t and it shouldn’t.
We have a proven economic plan that has been tested in the most difficult economic circumstances since the Great Depression, 30 times worse than the Global Financial Crisis of more than a decade ago.
And we will apply the hard lessons we have learned from these difficult times so we can take Australia to the next level. So that’s where I’m focused, friends - on the future, on your future. And today, I want to speak about our priorities and plans for the future. As I said at the first day of this election campaign, I said this election is about you.
It’s about how we create the right conditions for you to reach your goals, the ones you have set for you and your family.
By keeping our economy strong, with more jobs, better wages and lower taxes, and putting downward pressure on those rising interest rates and rising costs of living, that we all know are driven by those global forces we’re facing around the world.
By supporting more Australians into homeownership, in caring for their family, perhaps starting a business, contributing to their community, and retiring with dignity.
By guaranteeing those essentials that Australians rely on, with record investments in Medicare, in hospitals, in schools, and aged care and other services.
By keeping our nation safe, by protecting women from violence and abuse, by keeping Australians safe online, especially our children, by taking on the social media platforms and big tech companies. By building our resilience to the impacts of natural disasters and investing in stronger defence and keeping our borders secure.
We also know that, as individuals, we can only reach our full potential with the support, and the sense of belonging, that comes from others. Most powerfully expressed in the family. Strong families, they are the building blocks of a good society, indeed a great one.
And we must ensure they should provide the place for children to feel safe and to be loved.
They teach us respect and support for others. Families are the transmission belts for our society’s values and culture, and in turn, community.
We believe in the power of local communities - in all their wonderful diversity. And we understand how important faith and culture is to those local communities.
You know, Australia is the most successful multicultural, multifaith, immigration nation on earth. We have achieved this because we respect and we value our diversity, yes, but we all know that together as Australians we love this country equally and together with a patriot’s love.
Throughout this campaign, I’ve been inspired by that energy and spirit of so many communities right across Australia, and well before that. Our mission is not to mould these communities into some government template or to put Government at the centre of community life. God forbid.
But to empower communities to create their own future in a strong economy.
And we have a strong plan to achieve just that. Let me speak about that.
We have a plan to create 1.3 million more jobs over the next five years, including 450,000 of those jobs in regional Australia.
Since 2013, we’ve created over 1.9 million jobs in Australia, including 1.1 million jobs for women.
Unemployment, as I said, is already at 4 per cent and falling and the Reserve Bank says we can get unemployment to 3.5 per cent.
Just think about that. We’re approaching a point in this country where everyone who has the capacity and desire to work can get a job.
A job. That’s what gives you choices, the pride and the purpose and a future. And these are things we believe so passionately in as Liberals and Nationals.
And by creating jobs, by driving down unemployment, by growing our economy and improving what businesses can earn, because they pay the wages, we create the conditions for sustainable increases in wages.
We all want to see wages rise, of course we do, but those who think you can just arbitrarily do it, you can increase wages some other way than the one I’ve just outlined to you, they don’t get it. That approach only results in higher interest rates and higher costs of living, taking back any gains, leaving you worse off.
Our plan to grow the economy begins with keeping taxes low and cutting red tape to drive the investment and enable Australians to keep more of what they earn.
We’ve given clear commitments to the Australian people at this election. No new taxes on Australian new workers.
On retirees. On superannuation. No new taxes on superannuation. Or on small businesses. On housing. On emissions. On electricity. No carbon tax.
And in a resource state here in Queensland and to our great Western Australian friends and right around the country, no mining tax. And we’ll keep that official speed limit that I put in place as Treasurer, and Josh has continued, to ensure we keep those taxes low on taxes, to ensure that we can keep expenditure under control and create more jobs, repairing the Budget without increasing taxes.
Under our plan, more than $100 billion in permanent tax cuts will be delivered over the next four years, helping Australians manage cost of living pressures, encouraging workforce participation, rewarding hard work and delivering a stronger economy.
And together with lower taxes, we have a practical plan to deal with cost of living pressures.
And can I tell you, the most important thing you can do is to manage the Government’s finances well.
If you can’t manage money, you just push up the cost of living and you push up interest rates.
And I want to acknowledge Simon Birmingham and Josh Frydenberg for the great leadership that they have shown in that regard in our team.
You know in the Budget, we also announced a series of initiatives that soften the impact right now on cost of living, halving petrol tax, direct payments to pensioners, providing further tax relief. But we’ve also announced we’re: • expanding eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card to an extra 50,000 older Australians who’ve saved hard for their retirement and deserve a fair go • by freezing deeming rates to guarantee the level of income payments for around 450,000 age pensioners and 440,000 other payment recipients, so they have certainty, and • we’re delivering that $10 cut per general script which means the maximum price Australians will pay for those PBS medicines drops by $10.
Home ownership is one of the great dividends of a strong economic plan. It enables Australians to be able to own that home.
It is deep in our Party’s history and we have a strong plan to ensure Australians can do just that.
For most, including Jen and I, it is the largest asset you will ever own and it’s a source of your security in retirement.
Buying your first home it’s never easy - it wasn’t easy 30 years ago either, but I must admit it’s harder today - but it’s something you’ll never forget.
Over the years, it has become harder and that’s why three years ago, I said I wanted more Australians to be able to realise their dream of owning their own home. And we’ve delivered.
I launched our Home Guarantee Scheme - which has allowed tens of thousands of Australians to buy their first home with a deposit of as little as 5 per cent, or 2 per cent for single parents.
You know, there’s more than 2,200 single parent families who have so far bought a home using that scheme - 85 per cent of them single mums.
It’s saved families, it’s saved families on average four years securing their deposit, and as much as eight years in some cases. This is transformational stuff we’ve seen in the last three years.
In the last three years, our policies, our housing policies have helped over 300,000 Australians into home ownership directly. Through HomeBuilder, the First Home Super Saver Scheme, all of which were opposed by the Labor Party.
We have helped 27,600 Australians accelerate their deposit savings through their super to get closer to that dream and through $5.5 billion in low cost finance to National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, that I established as Treasurer, to support 27,500 social and affordable dwellings being delivered by great community housing organisations across the country.
But there is more we can do, and must.
And we’ve got to start with freeing up more homes for people to be able to access. The supply of homes.
And we know that for many older Australians there comes a time that that three or four bedroom house, well, it’s just a bit big. It’s more than what you need. And more than what you really want to look after anymore.
And we want to remove the barriers to senior Australians downsizing to residences that better suit their needs and their lifestyle.
And that’s why we have allowed Australians nearing retirement to make a post-tax contribution of up to $300,000 to superannuation when they sell their family home.
Now, this has helped to free up larger homes for younger families, but today, I want us to go further.
And from 1 July this year, we will further lower the age of eligibility for this to 55 years.
Now, this will increase, this will increase the opportunity for people to downsize and increase the supply of family housing stock in the market.
Currently when an older Australian sells their home, the proceeds of the sale are also exempt from the pension pension assets test for one year.
But from, and from 1 January 2023, we will double that. We will double it to two years - giving seniors more time to plan and help them look to downsize while maintaining their pension, so they don’t have to worry about that.
This will align the pension assets test for people not entering aged care with those who are, with a uniform two year exemption from the assets tests after downsizing.
As well as giving senior Australians greater certainty and more time to adjust to those new circumstances.
Now, our opponents have a different vision of home ownership in this country.
The real difference is that Labor always wants to put the Government at the centre of everything.
We want to put you and your family at the centre.
We want Australians to own their own home. Not the Government.
So to ensure that we can do that, today, I want to announce to you the next stage of our plan to help Australians own their own home.
We want to further help Australians get past what is the biggest hurdle on their path to home ownership and we started this process with the Home Guarantee Scheme - and that is the difficulty in saving for a deposit - and be able to use their own money to do it.
And that’s why a re-elected Coalition Government will allow first home buyers to invest a responsible portion of their own superannuation savings into their first home. This would apply to both new and existing homes.
And whatever amount is invested will be returned to your super when you sell the home, including the share of the capital gain from the sale of that home.
The maximum amount able to be invested under this plan is the lower of $50,000 for each individual or 40 per cent of your total superannuation balance.
Superannuation is there to help Australians in their retirement. The evidence shows that the best thing we can do to help Australians achieve financial security in their retirement is help them own their own home.
You can already use, you can already use your super to purchase an investment property, but not your own home.
Other countries, such as New Zealand and Canada, also have policies that allow people to use their retirement savings to help them buy their home. And under a Morrison Government, you will be able to do that too.
This is about increasing, increasing the choices available to you within your super - it’s your money - to allow you to invest in your first home.
This will make sure that investing part of your super to purchase a first home will also though, and importantly, because we’ve been careful about the design of our policy - we think these things through - we do not want it to affect your long-term savings for retirement.
So this will responsibly ensure that the majority of your super remains in your existing fund and maintains the diversification in your savings.
But this will be a game changer for thousands of Australian families who sit and look at that money on their balance and go, if only I had that to help me now.
There is no limit on who can use it. You don’t have to sell it if you get a pay rise or someone wants to go back to work full time. There are no complex rules about income thresholds or who gets what when you do an improvement. You don’t have to check with the Government every time you go to Bunnings to buy a can of paint.
Because it’s your home and it’s your super.
This will make it that bit easier, you know, for Australians to buy their first home sooner? Taking years off the need to pay rent and challenges of saving, because it’s it’s tough. And it’s going to get you closer to the life you want for you and your family.
Only the Coalition has a comprehensive plan to help Australians realise their dream of owning their own home.
And there are 300,000 Australians today who can attest to that fact.
We have a plan also to back Australia’s 3.6 million small businesses and create another 400,000 small and family businesses over the next five years - 100,000 by the way we’ve created just last year.
We’ve cut the small business tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent - the lowest small business tax rate in 50 years.
We’re offering new tax incentives for small business to invest in skills, in digital technology and improve their energy efficiency, their energy efficiency to get their costs down. And we’ve expanded the Instant Asset Write Off through to 2022-23.
Our plan invests in infrastructure and skills development, to upskill our workforce and meet the demands of a growing economy.
A plan to open the pathways for young people into jobs - with 220,000 apprentices currently in trade training, right now, the highest number since records began in 1963.
There’s an additional $3.7 billion to support 800,000 new training positions.
We believe in training Australians. We believe in training Australians with more low and fee-free places, under JobTrainer also, 478,000 places already created in areas of skills’ needs.
We’re delivering the big infrastructure projects across the country, as the Deputy Prime Minister knows and leads us and well done, Barnaby.
Nation building projects. The Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail. The Beveridge Interstate Freight Terminal where I was the other day in Beveridge - opposed by Labor. The Western Sydney International Airport - I didn’t talk about it, I started building it. Upgrading the Bruce Highway here in Queensland. Working with the Western Australian State Government to build METRONET over there in Western Australia.
You know, I really do want to pay tribute to the Deputy Prime Minister, and his predecessor Michael McCormack, for the many work, much work that has been done before him and I know Barnaby would join me in doing that, but particularly I want to pay credit to Barnaby for this, for his advocacy on behalf of regional Australia.
In this Budget - yeah. In this Budget and in our plan, we’re undertaking transformational investments in regional powerhouses to unlock the wealth of the regions, because as Baranby says, if you want the stuff on the boat coming in, you’ve got to be putting stuff on the boat going back out. So we’re unlocking the Hunter, we’re unlocking the Pilbara, we’re unlocking the wealth of the Northern Territory and the region known as the Middle Arm, we’re unlocking the wealth of Central and North Queensland here in the great state of Queensland.
We’re investing $7.4 billion in more dams, water projects, alongside our record $120 billion infrastructure pipeline.
Affordable, reliable energy, with lower emissions, is also part of our economic plan. Affordable, reliable energy that Australian businesses need to power ahead, and we can do that at the same time as reducing emissions to achieve net zero by 2050. We can do it while reducing household electricity bills - they’ve fallen by 10 per cent, electricity bills, since I became Prime Minister.
Our approach is based, in reducing emissions, on two core principles.
The first one is that it’s technology, not taxes, that’s what solves this.
And not just here, but across our region, across the world.
We can’t just address it here in Australia. And we want Australia to be part of the economic opportunity that comes with addressing those issues with greater technology in areas such as hydrogen and others which will be of great economic value to Australia.
But secondly, we will not leave regional Australia behind or make them pay for these commitments.
We are building major new clean energy investments to provide affordable and reliable energy. Down in Tassie with Marinus Link, the battery of the Nation, in New South Wales with Snowy 2.0, and well done Angus Taylor. And in $1.5 billion in hydrogen investments including major hubs in Gladstone and in Townsville in here in Queensland, as well as in Darwin, in the Pilbara, in Kwinana, in Port Bonython, in Bell Bay and the Hunter.
You know, advanced manufacturing and collaboration to achieve that is really transforming our economy.
We are implementing our plan to secure sovereign manufacturing capability in this country.
We’re making things here and we make great things.
And we have a plan to ensure that Australia keeps doing that and be the first place in the southern hemisphere to manufacture mRNA vaccines, down in Victoria.
We’re bringing universities and business together through our Trailblazer University program, incentivising collaboration and rewarding researchers for their commercial success.
And today, I’m pleased to announce that the final two of our six Trailblazer Universities will be here in Queensland, with a strong footprint in regional Queensland.
The University of Queensland will lead, will lead our Food and Beverage Trailblazer, in partnership with QUT and the University of Southern Queensland.
There’s an investment of $50 million from the Commonwealth and that has attracted a further $110 million in co-investment towards developing new agri-food technology. This is how you grow an economy. This is expected to create 1,700 new skilled jobs by 2035.
And the University of Southern Queensland will lead its own regionally headquartered Trailblazer in Toowoomba - there we go - geared towards building Australia’s sovereign space capability.
Partnering with the University of South Australia and the Australian National University, USQ will accelerate the development of launch technologies, as well as build job-ready skills from STEM to space engineering.
Together, our six Trailblazer Universities are creating 170 industry partnerships, generating an estimated 7,400 jobs and attracting more than $1 billion in co-investment.
Now I appreciate your patience today, Ladies and Gentlemen, but as you can see, I’ve got a big plan.
I’m seeking a second term, because I’m just warming up.
So let me give you some more plans. Let me tell you some more plans.
Australian families need to know that their Government can fund the essential services they rely on, not just talk about it. Another reason why strong economic management is so important to our everyday lives.
You may think he’s the Treasurer, but in a way, he and Simon Birmingham are the Health Minister as well, because if they don’t do their job, then Greg Hunt wouldn’t have been able to do the magnificent job that he’s been able to do as our amazing Health Minister.
We’re providing record funding for health, education and aged care.
Medicare is guaranteed by a strong economy, as does funding for our hospitals that grow year on year.
We’re are providing a record $3 billion in investment for mental health services as part of our Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, which has been a personal mission of mine.
We have struck agreements, and I want to thank David Coleman, on mental health funding with every state and territory, a joint investment of some [inaudible] dollars that will help improve the coordination of care for some of our most vulnerable Australians and address the suicide rate in this country.
We’ve approved new or amended listings of some 2,900 medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme since we came to Government, including new medicines for prostate cancer, for breast cancer, for cystic fibrosis and for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, just to name a few.
Our fiscal management means we can continue to list these new medicines on the PBS and make landmark new investments in health as well. Like expanding the eligibility for Continuous Glucose Monitoring services for all Australians with type 1 diabetes.
We’ll provide significant new investments for all of our, those who are here today from rural and regional Australia, my wonderful rural and regional team from the Liberals and the Nationals. We make major commitments on rural health workforce, making it more affordable also I should say to access IVF services. There’s increases to perinatal mental health support through the Gidget Foundation, in particular. We’re helping women who suffer with that terrible ordeal over their life with Endometriosis and provide additionally funding for medical research.
Now, I’m sure we all know that in our, in our own lives there has been someone and indeed, perhaps even yourself, who’s been touched by cancer and impacted by cancer. There’s approximately 150,000 cancer diagnoses in each, in each year in Australia.
And to support these Australians, in the last financial year alone, Federal Government expenditure for cancer treatments, research, and screening and support programs was almost $5 billion. It was $4.95 billion.
Australians can access free screening programs for cervical cancer, for breast cancer, for bowel cancer and we’ve made additional investments to support women with ovarian cancer. An absolutely awful and devastating cancer.
We have supported access to new treatments in Australia for cancer including the game changing CAR-T cell therapy which was previously only available by going overseas. It happens here in Australia under our Government.
And whilst Australia has some of the leading cancer survival rates in the world, with a five-year survival rate of 70 per cent for all cancers, we are determined to do more.
And that’s why today I announce that we will put $375 million on the table to establish a new Comprehensive Cancer Centre, right here in Queensland, right here in Queensland, to provide world-class cancer care for Queensland cancer patients.
Combining research, diagnosis, treatment and care through a Comprehensive Cancer Centre that is proven to lead to better health outcomes and a great chance of survival for patients.
But it’s not just in Queensland we’re doing it.
This builds on the commitments that we’ve made, Michaelia, in Western Australia, and to all our Western Australian team. And South Australia, Anne and Simon, to complement existing centres that are in Victoria and New South Wales and we will have established a national network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres as a Government.
These investments in health and cancer care are only possible when you can deliver a strong economy.
Because if you just, otherwise you’re just talking about stuff. You can’t deliver it without that.
And the last area I wanted to touch on today, is that a strong economy is vital for the defence of our nation.
The benign security environment that Australia enjoyed, and indeed most of the world, the Western World, enjoyed from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Global Financial Crisis, that’s history. That’s behind us. We live in a far more dangerous and disorderly world and that has been most significantly demonstrated most recently by Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine.
But here also in the Indo-Pacific, we face rapid militarisation as well as increased malign activities in the form of espionage, disinformation, cyber-attacks, foreign interference and economic coercion.
In this environment, the last thing Australia can afford is weak leadership.
And that is why I am so proud of my security team.
I am very proud of Australia’s Foreign Minister, Marise Payne. And I’ll speak to the others in a moment.
But she understands and she champions this every single day on the job and she never rests.
That we want an open, sovereign Indo-Pacific region, free from coercion and hegemony.
A region where all countries, large and small, including our Pacific family of course, can engage freely with each other, guided by international rules and norms.
We also need to be realists, as Marise is, to protect ourselves and stand up to those who seek to coerce us.
We must continue to harden our defences and build our deterrent capability and defend our values wherever they are challenged. And I can tell you, Peter Dutton understands that. As does Melissa Price.
Building on the world’s most successful border protection regime in the world that stopped the boats once again - John Howard did it last time, Tony and I did it this time - ended the deaths and closed the detention centres.
Building on the laws to counter foreign interference and espionage.
Our stronger foreign investment laws.
Our laws to make our critical infrastructure more secure, including from cyber threats.
In Karen Andrews has been a very strong Home Affairs Minister, and she follows, I like to think, not a bad line of them over the last few years. I’m sure Peter agrees.
But she’s prepared to do what it takes to enforce our laws and protect our borders. That’s her day job. It’s also her night job. She does it every day.
And so does Peter Dutton. A great Queenslander and a great Defence Minister who is revolutionising our defence force – with a 10-year defence plan worth more than $270 billion.
An investment in state-of-the-art ships, vehicles, aircraft and equipment delivered by Australian workers.
We’re committed more than $100 billion over the next two decades to develop a sovereign Australian guided weapons enterprise.
And in the Budget, we announced the largest ever investment in Australia’s cyber preparedness, which Peter led. A 10-year, $9.9 billion investment in offensive and defensive cyber capabilities, because we know that in any conflict the first shot fired won’t be in a metal case, it’ll be in bits and bytes.
A strong economy is the reason why we can continue to build stronger defence capabilities and have turned around the appalling situation that we inherited when defence spending fell to its lowest level since prior to the Second World War.
An additional investment of $454 million to accelerate the Loyal Wingman Project, which I announced today.
This is a next generation stealth, unmanned aerial vehicle, leveraging artificial intelligence, to support manned aircraft to conduct air combat, reconnaissance and surveillance missions.
The first military combat aircraft to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia in 50 years. How good’s that? World-leading, first-of-class.
The investment will fund the build of a further seven aircraft and the establishment of more than 120 additional highly skilled engineering and other technology jobs, particularly, right here in Brisbane, Rob Vasta, Ross Vasta.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I began this campaign by explaining why I love Australia. And we all do. Of course we do.
I love Australia and Australians because of our hope.
I love their optimism.
I love their kind heartedness to one another, when it really, really matters.
I deeply admire, as Josh and I know, their resilience, as we’ve gone through this terrible pandemic.
I admire their aspiration. The aspiration of Australians who want the best for themselves, their families and their fellow Australians.
A lot like those young trades students, Luke, that we met at your old school here in Brisbane, who plan to run their own businesses. More than half of them. How good is that?
As a Prime Minister, you pour your heart and soul into this job every single day. You do all you can to help Australians achieve their aspirations.
You don’t get everything right. I’ve never pretended that I have, but I tell you what, I never leave anything on the field.
It’s a great privilege to serve in this role. It’s the great professional privilege of my life.
And I’m seeking a second term to ensure that we can take this to the next level. To those better days.
We have so hard together, friends, to get to where we’ve needed to get to. We have worked so hard.
And our plan will take us, will take us to where we’ve been working hard to get to.
Our team will continue to put it in every single day, because we all love our country and we love our fellow Australians.
We know that our effort depends on a strong economy.
And that’s why this election is a choice about who is best placed to manage our $2.1 trillion economy into the future.
A choice between a strong economy or a weaker one, that only makes your life harder, not better.
A choice between a stronger future, or a more uncertain one, in an already terribly uncertain world.
A choice between a Government and a Prime Minister that you do know and a Labor opposition that you just don’t know.
Now is the time to seize the opportunities we have worked so hard for to create that better future for Australia by supporting your local Liberal and National candidates next Saturday.
To deliver more jobs, to get unemployment below 4 per cent, and to get the skilled workforce to go with them.
To deliver ongoing tax relief for workers and small businesses.
To provide cost of living relief now and manage money well to ensure we keep the pressures down on cost of living into the future.
To give more Australians the opportunity to own their own home, with their own money.
To invest in those better roads, the better rail, the water infrastructure and the renewable energy.
To guarantee record investments in health and other essential services you rely on.
And to keep Australians safe by investing in stronger defence and securing our borders.
Together, we’re building a strong economy and a stronger future.
Let’s not turn back now.
Thank you, everyone.