A message from the WA Federal Leader, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Fellow Liberals, while 2023 has been a huge year for us all, as you know – it is “game on” in 2024.  

As we head towards Christmas 2023, these are the facts: 

  • Labor’s chaotic handling of the economy is imposing harsh new costs on Australian households, families and businesses.
  • Labor’s national security chaos brings new uncertainties and new safety risks for the community, day after day.
  • Labor’s immigration detention chaos is a national scandal.
  • We have a Prime Minister out of his depth and a Labor Government that is out of ideas.

Australians are facing a tough Christmas:

Australians are facing a tough Christmas because Labor is focussed on all the wrong priorities. 

The Treasurer can spin as much as he likes but the fact remains that Labor’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) confirms this government is about big spending, big taxing, and a big Australia.

Instead of reducing spending, Labor has spent an additional $209 billion – more than $22,000 per household. Along with increasing migration this will only put more pressure on prices and the cost of housing.

This does nothing to help Australians with the cost of living. The budget improvement was largely driven by higher tax receipts from Australians working harder to keep up with skyrocketing prices and inflation-fuelled bracket creep under Labor.

MYEFO makes it clear that: 

  • Australia’s economy will grow slower than our major trading partners and the world over the next three years.
  • Inflation will be higher for longer, and unemployment will increase.
  • Labor has presided over $379 billion in extra taxes, with tax receipts as a percent of GDP at its highest level in 15 years.
  • Labor’s policy decisions are making the structural budget deficit worse.

The fact remains, Australians are feeling enormous financial pain under the Albanese Government.

Since Labor came to office interest paid on mortgages has almost tripled, prices have gone up by more than 9%, taxes have gone up by over 27% and real disposable income per capita has gone backwards by 8.6%.

It is a fact that the Australian economy is being squeezed by Labor’s failure to manage the economy and take inflation seriously. No matter how much this Government tries to spin it, Australians feel the truth in their hip pockets.

Under Labor, Australians are going backwards and they are going backwards fast and families will continue to pay a high price for Labor’s inaction on inflation.

Labor’s immigration detention chaos is a national scandal.

The Albanese Government is lurching from crisis to crisis in its handling of community safety in light of their immigration detention chaos. Albanese Labor have released 147 hardened criminals into the community, and despite the Opposition supporting new laws giving the Minister the power to apply to the Court to re-detain these criminals, the Government has failed to act.

The Government had not even formed the process for referring matters onto the court in relation to their preventative detention legislation, which once again shows this government has been asleep at the wheel on this.

We already know of six detainees who have been arrested under the new laws – but how many more will there be? And how many were released when they shouldn’t have been? Were the appropriate checks made?

The Government just needs to be upfront with the Australian people. At the moment, they are just not saying how many people they have sought to re-detain. Or how many they have released without doing the required checks.

Innocent Australians have already been hurt and yet the Government continues to do nothing to protect the community from these hardened criminals. The Government needs to explain why it has failed to apply to the Court to have any of these hardened criminals re-detained.

The Government is distracted from the issues that matter – like community safety and cost of living. The Prime Minister needs to step in and take action before more Australians are at risk.

The Prime Minister’s first responsibility is to keep Australians safe and the Albanese Government has done the complete opposite. The reason these criminals are in the community is because of Minister O’Neil and Minister Giles’ incompetence.

It is the greatest failure in the migration portfolios since boats arrived and Labor lost control of our borders when they were last in power. It’s high time for the Prime Minister to show strength and sack these two hapless and hopeless Ministers.

Their decisions have resulted in further Australians being harmed. It is a disgrace. No further excuses.

The question remains, day after day: How many applications will Mr Giles make to the courts to ensure as many of the criminals he has released go back into detention? He has no answer. As Peter Dutton warns: The most frustrating part of all of this is that – particularly with the sex offenders who’ve been released – the likelihood of them re-offending is close to 100 per cent. This is a full-blown crisis.

The Government needs to reassure the Australian people of the risks to community safety after their release of 147 hardened criminals into the community, and how many of them will go back into detention now the legislation has passed.

The incompetence of this Government around matters of national security and the safety of Australians knows no bounds.

It is inexplicable, for example, that it took until just days before a convicted terrorist was due to be released from jail for Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus to act. This man was serving a sentence of eight years in jail – the Attorney-General had a long time to plan for his release.

Mr Dreyfus should explain to the Australian people why he acted only at the last minute. This is yet another occasion where the Attorney-General appears not to have been ready to deal with a national security issue. Why isn’t he across his brief?

The events of recent weeks are proof this Government is incompetent when it comes to protecting Australians from criminals including pedophiles, rapists murderers and now terrorists.

A Government that is out of ideas:

Cancellation of Australia Day by High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

Australia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdon has tried to close the doors of Australia House to organisers of an annual Australia Day fundraiser. Australia Day is a time when our flag should be flying high around the world.

High Commissioner Stephen Smith keeps changing his story, as does Penny Wong.

How can we have a High Commissioner who is ashamed of Australia Day?

Australia Day is a celebration of our history and our heritage. It is what, together, has made us the greatest country in the world.

If the High Commissioner doesn’t believe in Australia Day, then Foreign Minister Penny Wong needs to deal with it.

Australia votes in support of ceasefire at UN

Despite initially stating its support for Israel’s right to self-defence, the Albanese Labor Government keeps changing Australia’s stance and undermining Israel’s position.

The weakening of Australia’s position demonstrates a weakness in the Albanese Government, who aren’t standing firm in support of Hamas’s removal at the very time Israel needs that support most. In a weak and appalling step, the motion the Albanese Government decided to support doesn’t even mention Hamas, let alone call for their removal from power.

How does the Albanese Government expect Hamas to be defeated if Israel isn’t allowed to defend itself against the terrorism it faced?

A premature and one-sided ceasefire will only leave Hamas in place, able to rearm, reorganise and repeat the deliberate murders, rapes, beheadings and kidnapping of innocent people.

When the going gets tough in the fight against terrorism is when a government most needs to hold its nerve. With this vote the Albanese Government has shown it lacks that strength.

As we move into 2024, our focus will be:

  • To support policy that is in the best interests of our country, but we will hold the government to account for its breaches of faith with the Australian people.
  • To oppose Labor’s actions which will take our workplace relations system and our economy backwards.
  • To support our resources industry, our farmers, our domestic manufacturers and we’ll make sure they can thrive and prosper here in Australia.  And we’ll back small businesses and support households and families across Australia who are doing it tough under Labor’s costs of living crisis. 
  •  To continue to fight Labor actions which hike inflation and deliver added cost burdens to households and businesses.

The Coalition has a strong and proud record in government, and we shouldn’t forget it: Lower power prices, Lower interest rates, Lower unemployment, Lower taxes and Stronger borders.

We all know these are difficult times, but the Coalition’s economic management put Australia in a stronger position than any major advanced economy.

On behalf of the WA Federal Team, as always, thank you for everything you have done, everything you do, do and everything you will be doing in 2024 to support the election of a Peter Dutton led Government.

Have a happy and holy Christmas and see you in 2024!

Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash
Shadow Attorney General 
Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Senator for Western Australia