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08 August 2010

Our party is united, says Abbott - 8th August 2010

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has taken to the stage at the coalition's campaign launch in Brisbane to rapturous applause from the party faithful.

Mr Abbott entered the Queensland Performing Arts Centre's main auditorium with the coalition's campaign song - "Stand up for real action" - booming in the background.

He was accompanied by his wife Margie and two of his three daughters.

"Well, isn't it great to lead a united political party with a deputy I can trust, a predecessor who's a friend and a former prime minister who's a hero," Mr Abbott began his speech.

Mr Abbott said Labor believed the election was all about them.

"They're worried about who gets the top job, while the opposition wants to create more jobs," he said.

"They're worried about their own squabbles, while we want to help you through your struggles.

"They react only to a bad poll, while we respond to your concerns.

"They will do anything to win, while we know that we must do everything to secure your future."

The coalition face a "historic challenge", Mr Abbott said.

"Our task is nothing less than to save Australia from the worst government in its history," he said.

Mr Abbott said Prime Minister Julia Gillard's attempts to fix the mining tax, stop the boats and come up with a new climate change policy had all failed.

"Its policy to deal with climate change is one of the greatest failures of nerve ever seen from an Australian government," said the man who took the Liberal leadership with the promise of opposing Labor's emissions trading scheme.

Mr Abbott said the internal divisions within Labor were a soap opera.

"It's time to end this soap opera and give Australia back a grown up government."

Mr Abbott said the coalition would reach out to voters who were tired of federal Labor behaving like a dysfunctional state Labor government.

The coalition would restore "honour and integrity" to public life, he said.

"Let's bury an era of gutless spin and give our country a fresh start where politicians say what they mean and do what they say," he said.

Mr Abbott announced a debt-reduction task force, co-chaired by treasury spokesman Joe Hockey and finance spokesman Andrew Robb, would be established in week one of a coalition government.

It would look at Labor's books and draw up a plan to start repaying the national debt.

"In month one, an economic statement will be issued, outlining Australia's risks and opportunities and the new government's response to them," he said.

(Credit: AAP)

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