Standing up for Canberra

Minister is the one "not in the real world".

Last night, I spoke about the response of my electorate to the Turnbull government's ill-considered Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017.

It is a bill that is lacking any clearly or concisely articulated purpose or imperative. It is a bill that does not clearly and concisely outline what is broken and why there is a need for change. While I was speaking, the Minister for Urban Infrastructure interjected—I am glad he is in the House—interjected, saying: 'Your electorate is Canberra. That's no guide.' The minister then went on to suggest that Canberra was totally out of touch and that it was not in the real world. So I say to the Canberrans working in the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development: your minister thinks you're out of touch. Your minister thinks you don't live in the real world. Your minister thinks you do not reflect the rest of Australia. Your minister doesn't think you pay rent or have a mortgage. Your minister doesn't think that you are juggling that rent or that mortgage with your car repayments and your bills. Your minister has no understanding of you. And from that you should construe that he has no respect for your public service, for the service that you give to our country or for you. I say that to his department: he has no respect for you. 

But we should not be surprised given this government's complete and utter contempt for Canberra. Coalition governments have got form when it comes to Canberra. It's just the axing of thousands and thousands of jobs, no investment in infrastructure and complete and utter contempt and scorn.

Download a copy of this speech.