Australian federal election: Anthony Albanese makes his pitch to voters as polling date is announced
‘My fellow Australians, this election will determine whether we can come together to build a better future.
We can seize that opportunity, but you have to vote for it. That is what this election is about, building a better future. We are a great country, but we can be even better if we have a better government.
We have had a difficult couple of years. Australians have been magnificent in making sacrifices to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, the floods, the bushfires. It has shown the strength of our society but it has also shown our vulnerabilities of our economy and where we need to make improvement.
As we emerge from this, Australians deserve better.
This government doesn’t have an agenda for today, let alone a vision for tomorrow. They demonstrated that in their budget, which was nothing more than a ploy for an election campaign, with one off payments to stop when the votes are counted, which they think it will be enough to give them a second decade in office.
We can and we must do better. The pandemic has given us the opportunity to imagine a better future, and Labor has the policies and plans to shape that future. Fear can be a powerful emotion, and I imagine there will be quite a bit of that over the next few weeks I suspect, but I want to appeal to Australians’ sense of optimism and desire for a better future – one where there is more work and better paying jobs, stronger Medicare, cheaper childcare, a future made here, revitalising Australian manufacturing.
We can be a renewable energy superpower that uses cheap, clean energy to support new industries through our national reconstruction fund.
We can train Australians for those new jobs with our plan for more university places and 465,000 fee free TAFE places. We will end the climate wars. Enough. We will become, more self-reliant as a country we need to be. This will make us more secure at home as well as abroad. I know many Australians are doing it really tough. They know the price of everything is going up but their income isn’t.
Labor’s plans for cheaper childcare, cheaper power bills, and more secure well-paid jobs are aimed at easing cost of living pressures. We will build more affordable housing. We will fix the crisis in aged care. We will fix the National Broadband Network. And we will bring the country together again. Businesses big and small, employers and unions, states and the Commonwealth.
More secure jobs, stronger Medicare. Cheaper childcare making our future here. That is my plan and Labor’s plan. If I have the honour of serving as your Prime Minister, I can promise you this – I will lead with integrity and I will treat you with respect.
I will restore faith in our political system by getting rid of the waste and rorts, and establishing a strong Anti-Corruption Commission. I won’t go missing when the going gets tough. I will accept the responsibility that comes with high office.
I will lead a government that repays and rewards your hard work. A government that reflects the decency and compassion and courage of the Australian people. I am humbled to put myself forward as Prime Minister of this great nation.
I grew up not far from here in Sydney in public housing, the son of a single mum. I learned the value of a dollar, I learned the importance of resilience. But I also learned about the strength of community and the power of government to make a difference to peoples lives. That experience of overcoming adversity and fulfilling my mother’s dreams for building a better life that she endured took me into politics and it is what drives me today. It feeds my optimism about this most extraordinary country of Australia.
Today, I say to my fellow Australians, this is our time – our time to seize the opportunities that are before us – our time to create a better future where no-one is held back and no-one is left behind.
I ask for your support on the 21 May for my team.
I am ready, we are ready.
And Australia is ready for a better future.