Tag Archives: shakespeare

“Once More Unto The Breach, Dear Friends”

1 Jun


Barnaby Joyce, Nationals’ 2013 Federal Council, Senate Leader’s Address, June 1, 2013:

In March 1913, under a tree at Kellerberrin in Western Australia, a group of farmers, frustrated with the influence of urbanised power of the capital city, and the political direction of Labor, formed the Farmers and Settlers’ Association known today as the National Party.

100 years later, the same party is about to engage on a great political battlefield.

Our opponent has one cause but many banners.

They are called independent.

They are called the Greens.

They are called Labor.

They are called the Palmer United Party.

They are called the Katter Australia Party and others.

For all of these groups the destruction of the Nationals takes much of their time, time that they should be using to concentrate on issues that help Australians.

They are sustained by vitriol and driven by anger.

They will bend the truth.

They will assert that promise equals delivery and ignore any reference to their responsibility as to where our nation now finds itself.

They must stand behind being responsible for $257.4 billion gross debt.

They must stand behind $370 billion in forward debt.

They must stand behind the defence spending of our nation now at the lowest ebb in GDP terms since 1938.

They must stand behind the financial, human and animal welfare disaster in the cattle industry.

They must accept that an NBN with no cost-benefit analysis has sucked up $5.3 billion already, and is on the way to a $90 billion debt that will take money away from other worthwhile future spending initiatives, such as perhaps a future drug to cure cancer.

They must accept that NBN’s largest income item is the interest on the money they have borrowed and that is a business fiasco.

Our adversary will stand at a distance to the detail of the debate because there the truth is grey and the audience is deprived of the clarity to call them to account.

Our opponent will deify their own assertion of long past insults and try to inspire a sectarian balkanisation, a tribal, sectarian fight based on their own divisive mythology.

As we borrow Kipling, we will keep our head when all about are losing theirs and blaming it on us.

We will trust ourselves when all others are doubting, but we will make allowance for their doubts.

We will be lied about but we will not deal in lies.

We may be hated back but we will not give way to hate.

And we will walk humbly with the people we intend to serve.

Our message is one of a future.

We have a fought for and achieved a dam policy to build dams and develop the next stage of agriculture. I am Deputy Chair of the Coalition’s Dams task group.

We have fought to have a new zonal rebate in a trial of five local government areas to turn fly-in, fly-out into fly-in and live.

We have worked for and delivered the Infrastructure Partnerships Scheme to build the inland rail, or ports, dams or new abattoirs.

When you see the University of New England you see the work of the National party, and the work of the former member for New England, David Drummond.

When you drive on a federally funded New England Highway you see the work of the National party and the Rt Hon Ian Sinclair.

When you see a Royalties to Regions program you see the work of the National party and the Rt Hon John Anderson.

When you collect your Diesel Fuel Rebate you are a benefactor of the work of the National party.

When you see upgrades to regional hospitals and universities that money is being provided from the surpluses of the last Liberal and National government.

When small business needs the safety valve to allow their voice to be heard on issues it is the National Party door that it is open.

When the insane idea that a broad based consumption tax on power in Australia would affect the global climate it was the National party that stood up and lead the way.

When Australia has concerns of the excessive foreign ownership on our sacred asset, our land, it is the Nationals that are derided in many quarters for taking up the fight.

We take on these challenges not because they are easy, not because they are hard, but because they are right.

The National Party are people who through my past near 20 years with them make it their cause to quietly do what is right.

Good people who accept that their duty to their nation is to quietly be part of the solution, to make the decisions that put our nation in safe hands, to offer a minor sacrifice for the greater good, rather than a partisan delivery at the expense of the country.

What is our vision?

  • that we are not shy of our Christian heritage
  • that we believe that the defence and ownership of our soil is paramount
  • that our cities will have on its skyscrapers the signage of international champions that are Australian
  • that the prudent culture of the family farm become the prudent nature of our nation’s Treasury
  • our culture is Australian families owning Australian homes and Australian families making a decent living on their family farm
  • our caution is well alive to the threats to our nation no better displayed than by the theft of plans for the ASIO building.

This election allows us the philosophical battleground to give to the views of this conference, especially where we have Nationals candidates standing in:

New England

… and Senate seats in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia, yes especially James in South Australia.

One of the interesting moments in the country hall meetings in New England comes when I ask the question that if the independent wins, and the polling is correct in pointing to a Coalition government, who in cabinet will ventilate the concerns of the electorate?

Why vote yourself into opposition? Why give Ms Gillard a vote of confidence. Do we honestly believe this country could take three more years of this government?

My final point is to say thank you for the overwhelming solidarity, the understanding of Queensland and the welcome home by New Englanders.

This is not a valedictory it is a staging post, it is a platoon harbour, it is a tactics session, it is the embarkation point from which others who believe in our nation’s journey, our nation’s future, will join us on.

So once more, unto the breach dear friends, once more.


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