First 11 Days of Good Government

After surviving the leadership spill, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said "good government starts today". In a speech in Parliament I helpfully provided some suggestions on what he could do in the first 11 days of that so-called 'good government'.


 After some 520 days in office, yesterday our Prime Minister said to the nation: 

“All of us are determined to lift our game and the fundamental point I make is that the solution to all these things is good government and good government starts today. “

Ladies and gentlemen, this is an extraordinary statement. This demonstrates that the Prime Minister knows what the Australian people all know: that this federal government has been a bad government from day one, with cuts and policies that have caused pain for my constituents and all South Australians. So, if day one of good government was yesterday, presumably it follows that day two of good government is today, but it has been anything but; it has been a complete disaster of submarine policy that we have seen today, and unfortunately South Australian workers at Osborne are caught in the crosshairs. 

We have seen the Leader of the Opposition and the member for Stuart today down on site with the defence minister as he was unable to explain why they were not having an open tender and why they were not keeping their promise to build all 12 submarines in South Australia. 

Now they are having a 'competitive evaluation process' but they cannot even explain what that means—nobody in the defence industry has ever heard that term before—and they cannot tell you the difference between that and a tender. This is something that they have just come up with to try to win votes in the leadership spill that the Prime Minister only narrowly won. 

Then we have had Senator Edwards out there trying to backtrack on his explanation that he had secured an open tender, and he has been completely unable to do that all day. My favourite quote from him today in trying to explain this was, 'You never get a second chance to ask your uncle to a wedding.' I am no expert on asking uncles to weddings but I do not understand how that has anything to do with submarine policy at all. 

The good news is all is not lost; there is still time. The commonwealth could very easily take a number of steps to implement good government at the federal level and benefit the people of South Australia and elsewhere, but they need to start immediately. So, I suggest some steps that they could take over the next week—days 3 to 10 of good government—to actually make that a reality.

  • On day 3 of good government (tomorrow), they should announce that they will be keeping their promise to build submarines in Adelaide and release an open tender for international partners to work with ASC on the build of the 12 submarines. 
  • On day 4 of good government, they should restore the national health reform agreement and properly partner with state governments to grow and improve health services.
  • On day 5 of good government, they should agree to implement the full recommendations of the Gonski school review, in partnership with state governments.
  • On day 6 of good government, they should restore the $30 million of seniors concessions every year that have been cut from seniors in South Australia and ensure that their bills will not go up. 
  • On day 7 of good government, they should completely scrap the GP co-payment that will put families across South Australia under increased financial burden and will flood our emergency departments with patients that should be seeing general practitioners.
  • On day 8 of good government, they should use the funding that they have saved by no longer supporting automobile manufacturing in Australia to reinvest that into transition for workers and manufacturers in South Australia and Victoria. 
  • On day 9 of good government, they should restore national funding for public transport projects, such as the Seaford rail extension that was funded under the previous government, that will help improve our city of Adelaide and reduce pressure on our roads.
  • On day 10 of good government, they should abolish the knights and dames system.
  • The Minister for Local Government has suggested a day 11, where they should re-implement the $18 million that they have cut from local councils in South Australia as supplementary road funding, which is an outrageous disgrace and puts us behind all the other states in this country.  This is supplementary funding that is meant to be putting South Australia at an equal level with other states and the member for Finniss scoffs at that.

But, if we do not see days like this coming from the Prime Minister, then we will know that good government has not actually started, and that the mean and tricky federal government that we have seen for the past 520 days has unfortunately remained. 


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