SPEECH - Top ten failures of the Morrison Government

02 December 2021

Today is the final sitting day of the year and perhaps even the last for the 46th Parliament, so I want to put on record my list of the top 10 ways in which this Morrison Liberal government has utterly failed the people of Newcastle. Starting off at No. 1, we have the vaccines. The Prime Minister told Australians that we were at the front of the global queue for vaccines, but that wasn't true; we were last in the developed world. Novocastrians will, of course, never forget the time that Newcastle's supply of Pfizer was stolen and sent to Sydney because this Prime Minister had not ordered enough vaccines for all in the first place.


At No. 2 we have the Building Better Regions Fund rorts, which saw terrific projects in my community, such as the expansion of the Newcastle Art Gallery, the restoration of the Victoria Theatre, and the Business Centre in Newcastle, totally dudded of funding in preference for less deserving projects in coalition held or targeted seats. This leads me to No. 3, sports rorts. How could anyone forget the Morrison government's shameless pork-barrelling of the Community Sport Infrastructure Grant Program? Sports rorts left the much-loved Newcastle Olympic Football Club without funding for a new grandstand or an upgrade of important facilities, despite being eligible.

Coming in at No. 4, we have the Morrison government's cruel and callous plan to control how pensioners spend their money. Despite having multiple opportunities, the Morrison government has refused to rule out plans to roll out the cashless debit card, seeking to punish and humiliate Australians in need of support. At No. 5 we have the Morrison government's relentless push to close the Mayfield and King Street Centrelink offices. We know that this government has been secretly axing Centrelink shopfronts across Australia, and it continues to hide its plans under the guise of commercial in confidence.

At No. 6 we have the Prime Minister's failure to adequately respond to women's safety. Following a massive public backlash at the Prime Minister's behaviour and under enormous public pressure from millions of women to act on the way in which this government has ignored women's safety for eight long years now, the Morrison government has hurried to announce new promises and appointments but has remained very light on delivery. Let's not forget—I'm not holding my breath—this Prime Minister could not even stick to his word and implement the 55 recommendations of the Respect@Work report.

At No. 7 we have the Morrison government's failure to address the national housing crisis. We know that the chronic shortage of social and affordable housing is forcing record levels of homelessness, but the Morrison government refuses to take any action, claiming that it's 'not our problem'. At No. 8 we have the container terminal at the port of Newcastle. If Scott Morrison were any friend of the Hunter, he would be working tirelessly to ensure a level playing field in the container trade and working with the New South Wales government to allow the port of Newcastle to realise its full potential.

At No. 9 is the failure to act on PEP 11 and at No. 10 is the cruel plan to cut our GP Access After Hours service in the Hunter. You don't deserve the support of any Australians.