This morning the Liberal government's caucus demonstrated to the Australian people once again that they're a disunited rabble. In fact, it goes further than that now. The Prime Minister himself called for a spill of positions; he no longer has the support of the government.
When Mr Turnbull was elected he promised he would deliver stable government. But what we've seen for the entire period for which he has been elected, from the last election, is disunity within the government. The old saying, 'If you can't govern yourselves you can't govern the country' is absolutely correct. There is no better evidence of that than when you have a caucus of your colleagues voting 35 to 48. That's just over 40 per cent of the Liberal caucus no longer having faith in the Prime Minister. I'd have to suggest that the clock is in fact ticking down. We're now waiting to see when the next caucus meeting will be called and when there'll be a further challenge.
Why do I suggest that? It's because, unfortunately, during our term in government we used the same playbook. But we have learnt from it. Those on the other side have been trying to suggest in the last 48 hours that the Labor Party, under Bill Shorten, is divided. Well, there's nothing further from the truth. We are more united than I have ever experienced, having been in this place for some 12 years. I'm very confident that under Bill Shorten's leadership we will have better policies. We've been able to listen to the community and we have taken on board their concerns. This government, election after election, in making their policy statements, have broken promises, one after the other. They've cut funding to our hospitals. That's had a dramatic effect in my home state of Tasmania. They have cut funding to schools, and there's been murmuring that the Prime Minister wanted to try to clean up this mess whereby the education minister put offside Catholic Education in this country. Why? Because they're hell-bent on doing what they do best, and that is trying to punish those people who can least afford to be punished.
We've seen the Prime Minister and this government attacking workers. They stood by when, on a number of occasions, legislation was put before them to stop any cuts to penalty rates. But what did they decide to do? They put their hands up in the air and said, 'You're on your own.' That has had a devastating effect on the workers in my home state. Those in the hospitality industry already have very low wages, and they rely on their penalty rates. People who work in shops, in retail, are some of the lowest paid workers in this country and they have been impacted. We know that the hairdressers around this country are next on the list. My real concern is for those people who work in the aged-care sector, because they're not covered. We already have a crisis brought about by this government. They've had three ministers for aged care. There has not been a minister for ageing in cabinet who has any real authority when it comes to the budget, and they've failed. What is it now? The home care package waiting list—although we had to wait three extra months to get the data, which was finally released on Friday. There are 108,000 older Australians who are vulnerable and who need to have support to be able to stay in their home but who have been failed by this government, because the government hasn't invested.
This government will be judged very harshly when we do come to the next election, whether that's under Mr Dutton or whether, by some miracle, the Prime Minister manages to survive. But my money is on having another caucus meeting where he will be challenged, and I believe that Mr Dutton will end up with the amount of support he needs. Then the country could expect to go to an early election before people start to realise how little Mr Dutton really has to offer and whether or not he is going to change the direction of this government and, once and for all, put Australians before the big end of town. We know they want to give $17 billion to the big banks and we know they want $80 billion to go to multinational— (Time expired)
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