Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald
Speech to Preselection Council
RNA Auditorium, Brisbane
24 November 2012
Mr President, Parliamentary and Council Colleagues, LNP Friends.
This year I have spoken a record of 260 times in the Senate on all sorts of Policy and Political issues that are dear to me and you.
Most of my speeches are for the maximum time permitted under the Senate Rules, that is 20 minutes.
But dont be alarmed I want to assure you today, because this has been and will be a very long day, I am going to try to be as brief as possible.
First can I thank you for giving up part of your weekend to help select the LNP Senate Team.
I also, on the occasion of the first gathering of State Council since their announced retirements, wanted to pay tribute to Ron Boswell and Sue Boyce for their work, their passion and their dedication to our State over a very long period of time.
As the only sitting LNP Senator seeking re-election, I hope that I can provide experienced leadership to what will essentially be a new team.
I will bring to the Campaign, over 20 years of active representation and numerous elections selling the message in parts of Queensland that many people never see - places I know well because I am proudly a Senator based in North Queensland.
I look forward to the opportunity of bringing my experience in Canberra, and as a Minister, and my knowledge and love of Queensland, to, with your support, again lead the LNP Senate team.
I have worked and campaigned with most of you over many years. Jointly we have done whatever we could for the betterment of our State, our Nation and our Political Party. So most of you will know me, I hope.
Consequently I wont be talking too much about me today.
What I do want to briefly mention are those policy and party goals to which I am committed and for which I seek your endorsement today
THERE ARE FIVE SUCH GOALS
When I was first elected to the Senate in 1990 I was the only Coalition Senator outside Brisbane and one of only two Federal Parliamentarians in north Queensland. Some people thought that setting up my office in Townsville, was like setting up on an outpost in Siberia.
But working with many of you over the years, and using my Senate office and resources as a base, we have now practically rid the North of Labor at State level. I am determined to do that at Federal level as well.
So my FIRST Goal is to win Capricornia and Kennedy.
My energies, my resources and my position as a Senator will be directed to winning these two seats, to ensuring our first term LNP MPs are re-elected, and to securing 3 and perhaps even 4 LNP Senators.
Because of the location of my office and my regular travels across the State, I hope I am best placed to make a difference. I will be around to help colleagues and our fabulous candidates in Labor seats in the south east and on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, but my main effort will, as always, be in the north and west.
My SECOND goal is to expand the Party Organisation. It is a somewhat selfish goal because I always find that the grassroots membership is a great place to seek inspiration and answers for difficult questions. Your advice on, for example, the Carbon Tax back in 2009 convinced me that my view, which I shared with you, was the correct one. It was your input that reinforced my resolve to cross the floor to vote against the CPRS.
I am proud of the work that I have done with various elements of the Party over decades be it my long association with the YLNP and its predecessors, my work with the Womens Council and particularly with the Northern Group which meets in my boardroom, or in my own branch which has a reputation for good meetings, good speakers and good parties. Over the years I have been involved in the formation of many new Party Units most recently with Jason Costigan in the Whitsunday area.
I am one who never forgets that elected parliamentarians owe their success to the Party Organisation. We would not be there without you, so I strive to return that support by doing whatever I can to help expand the membership.
My THIRD goal is to see a real start to the development of the opportunities and potential which exists in northern Australia.
Since holding Shadow Portfolio responsibility for northern and remote Australia Ive worked tirelessly developing policies and a blueprint for the North. I am delighted to say that Tony Abbott has indicated a genuine commitment to north Australia and that has encouraged me to PREPARE what I believe is the most visionary policy that has ever been produced for northern Australia, and I look forward to the election period when Tony will announce our policy.
My additional Shadow Portfolio responsibilities for Defence Bases and Defence Support is not just about making sure the Nation is properly defended but with our long exposed northern coastline and with Australias largest Army Bases in Townsville and Darwin and significant Air Force and Naval Bases in Townsville, Cairns and Darwin, this policy interest is as much about northern Australia as it is about defence.
The vision we have all had for a food bowl, a resource base, and a securely defended border in the North will start to happen in the first term of the Tony Abbott Government, and I want to be there to play my part in the implementation of this grand design for Northern Australia.
My FOURTH goal is a very simple one. More than any other politician I have been exposed to the Greens Political Party and previously the Democrats, at close quarters. I know how dangerous to Australia these loony left wing hypocrites are. At close quarters I have watched them charm the media, while at the same time they destroyed the Australian Forestry and Fishing Industries. I want to continue to expose this group for the dangerous hypocrites and frauds they are. Without them, Labor loses.
Two years after I joined Parliament I was appointed a Shadow Minister. I have been privileged to serve as a Minister in the Howard Government for 9 years and a Shadow for 11 years, under Hewson, Downer, Howard, Nelson, Turnbull and Abbott. It has also been my honour to lead the Senate Ticket at each election starting with my first in 1990.
It is therefore my FIFTH goal to again provide Leadership and Experience, to our Senate Team in Queensland.
We all know that Australia needs change.
We need a government that understands that a budget surplus comes from sound policy - not from spin.
A government that will take responsibility for our borders and, quite frankly Mr Chairman, a government that does not lie to the Australian people.
The Senate team you select today will help shape that new Government that Australia so desperately needs.
I look forward to the opportunity of providing Leadership to that Team. With your support, we will consign this dishonest, incompetent Labor Government to where it belongs to the scrapheap of history!
I ask for your support today in the critical battle ahead.
Again, thank you for what you do for the LNP and for Australia.