Senator McGRATH: It is a pleasure to speak in this matter of public importance debate and to look at the hypocrisy we have already seen in terms of mediocrity in a mere 10 minutes of this debate starting. When I think of mediocrity, I look opposite and I see a sea of mediocrity. It is something that scares me, because the Labor Party, the opposition, are the government in waiting; they are the alternative to my government. When I look at the Labor Party I am scared, I am fearful, because, if we fail to win the next election in 2½ years time, these knuckle draggers opposite, these oxygen thieves, will have their fingers on the levers of power.
To those poor people who may be listening at home, who were searching for Triple M or Triple J and accidentally wandered onto this broadcast, I say that, to understand what mediocrity is, you just have to listen to the Labor Party and watch the Labor Party. And be very, very afraid, because this is the Labor Party that is led by Bill Shorten. I am chairman of the ‘Bill Shorten appreciation society’, because we want Bill Shorten—
The PRESIDENT: Senator McGrath, refer to the Leader of the Opposition by his correct title or his seat name.
Senator McGRATH: I am chairman of the ‘Bill Shorten Leader of the Opposition appreciation society’. The Leader of the Opposition is actually our patron. We want the Leader of the Opposition to stay being the Leader of the Opposition, because he is not doing a very good job of being Leader of the Opposition, but it is suited to him. We do not want the Leader of the Opposition to become the Prime Minister. We also do not want the member for Grayndler. He is not a bad guy—the member for Grayndler is a pretty good guy. I do not know if I can say his name, but the member for Grayndler is lurking in the shadows. A book is being published. Half the people opposite cannot read—it does not really matter, because it does not have pictures in it.
This is the modern Labor Party, who believe in playing politics. This is the modern Labor Party, who exist purely and solely for politics. Those opposite do not care about public policy and they do not care about the interests of this country; they care about the game of politics. That is what is so sad about the Labor Party. They have not evolved; they have devolved. They are going backwards. The Labor Party of Curtin and Chifley—indeed, you could say the Labor Party of Keating and Hawke—is not the modern Labor Party. The modern Labor Party is purely about politics, purely about saying anything and doing anything in order to win an election, and that is sad.
We witnessed that during the recent election in Australia on 2 July, when the Labor Party, led by the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, went around the country with Senator Dastyari. Remember Senator Dastyari? I do not know where he has gone lately—Senator Dastyari, with his little EFTPOS machine that he walks around with when he meets people from China. Remember that guy? Senator Dastyari and the Leader of the Opposition were on that bus, going around Australia. And do you know what they did when they went around Australia? They lied. They told the truth never. They fibbed, they fibbled. When truth entered a room they left the room very quickly.
Senator Bilyk interjecting—
Senator McGRATH: You are all fibblers opposite, all of you—these mugwumpian fibblers opposite who do not understand what truth is. In fact, the modern Labor Party treat the truth like anyone would treat a cow pat: they try to avoid it. But I tell you what, cow pats are good for you, and truth is good for you, and the modern Labor Party should understand that one day it should tell the truth, and it will be good for it, because at the recent election the Labor Party’s entire campaign was based upon lie after lie after lie. That is bad, and that is sad for Australian democracy and sad for the Australian Labor Party, because they should be presenting a viable opposition to the government. That is the nature of the system of government, of the parliamentary democracy that we have in this country—that we have the coalition, the Liberal-Nationals party, on the right and then we have those ratbags over there on the left. And they should present a viable opposition, but they do not, because all they can do is lie. What is fascinating is we look at this actual—
The PRESIDENT: Senator McGrath, I have been listening very carefully to what you have been saying. You have been sailing close to the wind. You cannot really make accusations about members opposite the way you have. So, just be very careful with how you present the rest of your speech.
Senator McGRATH: I shall focus on the achievements of this Liberal-Nationals government, who have done so much for Australia, so much to ensure that Australia transitions to a new economy where there are jobs for people, rather than just lies. We understand that Australia should focus on our resources, because we are a resource-rich country.
And talking about resources, let us talk about the support of the Labor Party for our resources sector. Hands up, over in the Labor Party—for anybody listening at home—wave your hands in the air: do you support our resources sector? For those who are listening at home, no-one put their hands up, because the modern Labor Party does not support the resources sector, because they have been captured—it is fascinating: they have become an axis of incompetence and an axis of far-left green politics, because Labor are focused on the preferences of the Greens at every election. So, we have a Labor Party that does not support the resources industry. In Queensland we have the New Hope mine at Acland, which is a wonderful opportunity for more people to get more jobs. We can talk about Adani and the wonderful things Adani will do for Australia that this government has pushed. But has the Labor Party really come out strongly and supported Adani? Not really, actually, because they are so worried, they are so concerned about Greens preferences. Of all the many factions in the Labor Party—there are more factions in the Labor Party than there are M&M’s in a packet—the most important one is the green one, the green faction in the Labor Party, because they need their preferences for the coming election.
So, we have a modern Labor Party that specialises in being below average. They are not even a C minus; they are a D, they are an E, they would probably even be a Z, if I were a teacher marking them on what they are doing for modern Australia. They are playing politics with motions like this. They have not put a motion up to talk about serious policy issues, a motion to talk about how we deal with youth unemployment. We could talk about the PaTH project, or what we are going to do with taxation reform. We could talk about how we want to lower people’s taxes. They could put a motion up on free trade agreements. But no, they do not support the free trade agreements, the wonderful agreements of Andrew Robb, a fantastic person, followed by Steven Ciobo, a great minister. They do not want to talk about the policy issues, because they know that on every single policy issue we have won and are winning. We are a government that is delivering for Australia, and the only thing the Labor Party are delivering is, sadly, a below-average approach to public policy development in this country.