Anne Stanley MP - 2019 Werriwa Federal Election fundraiser

Australia needs a government for the people, not one in chaos: Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen

We would take office as the most experienced incoming government in at least 70 years. Chris Bowen




Anne Stanley MP - 2019 Werriwa Federal Election fundraiser

Australia needs a government for the people, not one in chaos: Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen

We would take office as the most experienced incoming government in at least 70 years. Chris Bowen

12/4/2019

Sydney - M E Times Int'l: Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen joined Anne Stanley, the Federal Member for Werriwa, at the annual Federal Budget Breakfast Q&A. This was a rare chance to discuss the budget and Labor’s alternative plan for the economy with the Shadow Treasurer before the Federal Election (now confirmed for Saturday, May 18). The breakfast was held at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. Afterwards, a question-and-answer session was held.

Anne Stanley MP Speaking during the event

Excerpt of presentation by Chris Bowen

With the election called, we may be on the task of something historic. Some would say we’re competitive; we at least have a chance.  We feel a burden because the responsibility is on us to win It doesn’t happen very often that Labor wins an election from opposition; it only happened three times since World War II (1972, 1983 and 2007).

The country has not been well served by the revolving door that is the prime ministership, Treasurership; by the dysfunctional chaos in Canberra.  We’ve had six years of Liberal Government with 12 energy bosses; it is having an impact on electricity prices.  The country deserves better than that.

The last six years we were united  …we have not spent time arguing amongst ourselves trying to work out who is going to lead the party, how to get out of a political mess.  We simply got on with the job of developing policies for the country.  That’s what a good opposition does and that stability and unity that we have will serve us well in government. So there are really a couple of reasons why I face that task with self-confidence; that we can become the government.

Chris Bowen MP During his speech

Firstly we have used our unity and stability to good purpose. We have developed the most comprehensive policy agenda that any opposition has taken to the people in generations;  at least since 1993 arguably since 1972. It means that if we win, we will enter government with an agenda that Gough Whitlam called the Program.  It will give the government an overwriting purpose. Tony Abbot was elected prime minister then decided what he was going to do with it.  And it wasn’t very good what he decided to do with it; he didn’t have a mandate for it. A mandate is needed to do big important things. 

Let’s be clear, we’ll have bad days in government; all governments do. Ministers make mistakes;  prime ministers make mistakes; we’re all human.  None of that really matters at the end of the day if the government is getting on with the job of implementing a big program. This government hasn’t had a big program therefore it degenerated into personality conflicts. We will come in with a  carefully designed agenda which will make us a much better government.

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The second reason I have for confidence is that the quality of our team, versus their team, is very clear. You go through portfolio by portfolio and I challenge anybody point out to me an area where you would say the Liberal minister is clearly better. Our team outplays them every single day and that is well for a government.  The shadow cabinet was all in our plan;  our ministers could be replaced very successfully; down on our back bench, we have people who would normally be in the front bench. To have a good front bench is really important for a good long-term government, not just a first or second or third term.

Bowen speaking during the event and Anne Stanley MP (R)

The final point is experience.  We would take office as the most experienced incoming government in at least 70 years. Normally, when a new government is elected, the faces are new because the party has been out for a long time, former ministers have retired. Look at our blend of youth and experience, it is unmatched. When Gough Whitlam was elected in 1976, for example, there was nobody in his cabinet who had been minister before. When Bob Hawke became Prime Minister in 1983 he had three people in his cabinet who had been ministers.  When John Howard became Prime Minister in 1996 he had three people in his cabinet who had been ministers. When Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister in 2007 he had two people who had been ministers.  If we win on May 18, we will have in our cabinet of 21 people 16 who had been ministers before. I can’t begin to tell you what a difference that means to a government  just to have that experience.  If you’ve done the job before, you’re better at it; you’ve learnt things, you got things right, you got things wrong, you’ve seen your colleagues makes mistakes.  You know how to deal with the public sector, you know how to deal with the media better, you’re just better at it. I can tell you, having been a new cabinet minister, your life gets turned upside down. Your life changes but if you’ve done it before you’re will be better at it.

That is the task ahead of us. We have to face this election with some quiet confidence. Most importantly, we have to be a good government for Australia, Australia deserves nothing less than that; we can be there, that government.  Thanks for your support.

A. Chanthivong MP, P. Lynch MP, C. Bowen MP and A. Stanley MP

Chris with Anne and Nathan and other guest

Chris and Anne with Camil (C)

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