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Opening Remarks - Leader of the Opposition - Joint Press Conference

Liberal Party of Australia

I’m really proud to be here with Sussan Ley, who’s been a dear friend of mine for the last 20 years.

We live in the best country in the world. I want our country to
support aspiration and to reward hard work. To take proper care of those
Australians who short term or long term can’t take care of
themselves. We have a rich and proud indigenous heritage and a migrant
story the envy of the world. We are aligned with countries of similar
values, we always have been, and that alliance as we know is more
important than ever.

Our strength to the Australian people is as the best party to keep
our country safe and to keep our economy strong, so that we can afford
to pay for the essential services.

By the time of the next election in 2025, we will have presented a
plan which will clean up Labor’s inevitable mess and lay out our own
vision. We won’t be Labor lite. We will propose strong policy to make
the lives of Australians better and to provide more security to them.
Our policies will be squarely aimed at the forgotten Australians, in the
suburbs, across regional Australia, the families and small businesses
whose lot the Labor Party will have made more difficult.

Under my leadership the Liberal Party will be true to our values that
have seen us win successive elections over the course of the last
quarter of a century.

Make no mistake, and Australians understand this; the next three
years under Labor is going to be tough for the Australian people.
Already they are breaking promises and foreshadowing policy shifts. They
weren’t ready to govern and we are already seeing their inexperience on

Sussan and I lead a team which has the experience to make the right
calls on supporting government policies that are in our national
interest; and standing against those that are not in our national

I want to acknowledge my predecessor Scott Morrison, his wife Jenny
and their girls for the enormous contribution that they have made, not
just to our country, but to the Liberal Party as well. We wish them all
the very best in the next stage of their life.

I have held a marginal seat for two decades and I know how to work
with people and how to achieve outcomes for local communities. I know
how to campaign. I have been the Assistant Treasurer to Peter Costello,
and held Ministries in the Howard, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison
Governments. I’ve served on the National Security Committee and the
Expenditure Review Committee and the leadership group in two
governments. My greatest honour was to represent the men and women of
the Australian Defence Force, the Australian Signals Directorate, the
Australian Cyber Security Centre, the Australian Federal Police, ASIO,
the Australian Border Force and AUSTRAC.

I grew up in a working class suburb with two loving parents who were
hard working small business people. My parents worked hard for every
dollar and we weren’t financially well off. I started work part time in a
butcher shop after school, and until I started university. I saved and
bought a house at 19 and built a business from nothing to ultimately
employ 40 people. I was a police officer for 10 years. I have dedicated
my working life to public service and I am passionate about the
protection of children and women, particularly the protection against
sexual assault and harassment.

I owe everything of course to my family, to my friends and community;
and of course the Liberal Party and my colleagues for the incredible
honour to be standing here with you today.

As Prime Minister you need strength of character and a relentless
resolve to see our country through the good and the bad times. They are
among the character traits that I bring to this job.

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