2013-09-13 - Tony Abbott
My friends, thank you. Thank you so much.
I can inform you that the government of Australia has changed for just the seventh time.
You obviously enjoyed hearing it, so let me say it again, the government of Australia has changed. For just the seventh time in 60 years the government of Australia has changed.
The Coalition has won 13 seats clearly, with 10 seats still in play and I can inform you that the Australian Labor Party’s vote is at the lowest level in more than one hundred years.
So, tonight, for the last time in this campaign it is my honour to address you, the people of Australia.
Mr Rudd has conceded defeat.
He has been the prime minister of this country, not once, but twice, so I acknowledge his service to the people of our nation.
I now look forward to forming a government that is competent, that is trustworthy and which purposefully and steadfastly and methodically sets about delivering on our commitments to you, the Australian people.
Something very significant has happened today. Today, the people of Australia have declared that the right to govern this country does not belong to Mr Rudd, or to me, or to his party, or to ours, but it belongs to you, the people of Australia.
It is the people of Australia who determine the government and the prime ministership of this country and you will punish anyone who takes you for granted.
That is how it should be in a great democracy such as ours.
So, my friends, in a week or so the Governor-General will swear in a new government.
A government that says what it means, and means what it says.
A government of no surprises and no excuses.
A government that understands the limits of power as well as its potential.
And a government that accepts that it will be judged more by its deeds than by its mere words.
In three years’ time the carbon tax will be gone, the boats will be stopped, the budget will be on track for a believable surplus and the roads of the 21st century will finally be well underway.
From today I declare that Australia is under new management and that Australia is once more open for business.
Today, hundreds of thousands of people would have voted for the Liberal and National Parties for the first time in their lives.
I give you all this assurance – we will not let you down.
A good government is one that governs for all Australians, including those who haven’t voted for it.
A good government is one with a duty to help everyone to maximise his or her potential, indigenous people, people with disabilities, and our forgotten families, as well as those who Menzies described as ‘lifters, not leaners.’
We will not leave anyone behind.
I want to thank my strong and united Liberal and National Party Coalition team.
I thank Julie Bishop, Warren Truss, Joe Hockey.
I thank the Members of the Shadow Cabinet.
I thank my parliamentary team.
I thank all our candidates, those who have succeeded and those who haven’t, for the faith that you have placed in me.
I thank the Coalition Premiers, all of them, who have stood shoulder to shoulder with their federal colleagues throughout this campaign.
I thank the Liberal Party organisation, President Alan Stockdale and Federal Director Brian Loughnane – and, yes, it is right that you should show such enthusiasm for Brian Loughnane because he has run our most professional campaign ever.
I thank my personal staff led by Peta Credlin, who is the smartest and the fiercest political warrior I have ever worked with.
I thank my family who have given me so much and supported me throughout public life.
I thank the people of Warringah for returning me as their member of parliament for the eighth successive time.
Most of all, I thank you, the people of Australia, who have just given me the greatest honour and the heaviest responsibility that any member of parliament can have.
I am both proud and humbled as I shoulder the duties of government.
The time for campaigning has passed.
The time for governing has arrived.
I pledge myself to the service of our country.
I have many friends in this audience. I say thank you to each one.
We have been on a journey together – a long, long journey. May it continue and may it help to bring better times to this great country of which we are all so very, very proud.
Thank you so much.