Senator Ludlam welcomes Tony Abbott to WA

6th March 2014

Steph Harmon reports (Junkee 5/3/14): Senator Ludlam, “under the guise of inviting Prime Minister Tony Abbott to visit his state, … gave the Coalition one of the roundest shellackings you’re likely to be treated to. … It includes so many incredible lines that it’s hard to pick the best one — but it’s probably the bit where he describes the Coalition’s leadership team as ‘blundering and technically illiterate’; the bit where he describes Abbott’s relationship with mining billionaires and media oligarchs as ‘awkward, and kind of revolting’; or the bit where he calls the current Government ‘a thin, greasy layer in the core sample of future political scientists’. ‘Your thoughtless cancellation of half a billion dollars of Commonwealth funding for the Perth light-rail project has been noted,’ he says at one point. “Your blank cheque for Colin Barnett’s bloody and unnecessary shark cull has been noted. Your attack on Medicare, on schools funding, on tertiary education; noted. …

“He goes on to list the false assumptions that the Coalition has made about his state. ‘If your image of Western Australia is of some caricatured redneck backwater that is enjoying the murderous horror unfolding on Manus Island, you’re reading us wrong. Every time you refer to us as “the mining state”, as though the Western third of our ancient continent is just Gina Rinehart’s inheritance to be chopped, benched and blasted, you’re reading us wrong,’ he says. ‘Western Australians are a generous and welcoming lot, but if you arrive and start talking proudly about your attempts to bankrupt the renewable energy sector, or cripple the independence of the ABC and privatise SBS; if you show up waving your homophobia in people’s faces and start boasting about your ever-more insidious attacks on the trade union movement and all working people, you can expect a very different welcome’.”

There are so many things under attack (public transport, renewable energy, public broadcasting, etc, etc) it’s great to see the senator standing up and making these statements. To read the rest of Steph’s article and listen to Senator Ludlam’s speech see: