Australia is a great country that needs a better government.
We need a government that's prudent with taxpayers' money, competent in delivering services and, above all, honest with people about what it will and won't deliver.
If elected this year, the Coalition will:
- reduce the pressure on family budgets by abolishing the carbon tax;
- boost jobs and investment by abolishing the mining tax;
- reduce pressure on interest rates by cutting government debt;
- boost productivity by cutting business red tape costs by at least $1 billion a year;
- stop the boats by restoring the policies that worked under John Howard;
- build modern infrastructure like Sydney's WestConnex, Melbourne's East-West Link, Brisbane's Gateway Motorway extension and a duplicated Pacific Highway;
- keep more people working through a fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme that's a workplace entitlement, not a welfare one;
- restore unemployed people's self-respect by revitalising work for the dole;
- protect the environment and reduce emissions through direct action to plant more trees, improve soils and use smarter technology;
- eliminate union corruption by restoring the Australian Building and Construction Commission and ensuring that union and company officials face the same penalties for the same crimes;
- foster better public schools and hospitals through local boards that will make them more responsive to the people they serve;
- build links with Asia through a new, two-way street version of the Colombo Plan; and
- end the defence cuts which have reduced it to the lowest share of GDP since 1938.
This is the Coalition's positive plan to build a strong and prosperous economy for a safe and secure Australia.
My plan is for 2 million more jobs over the next decade.
The team I lead won't have to learn how to be a competent government because it has been one before.
Sixteen members of my shadow cabinet were ministers in a government that turned $96 billion of debt into $70 billion in assets and turned a $10 billion budget deficit into consistent 1 per cent of GDP surpluses.
If you want to know the prime minister I would be, ask your doctor to tell you how, as health minister, I fixed the medical indemnity crisis, introduced the Medicare Plus safety net, developed the Medicare dental scheme and mental health care plans, and put Herceptin on the PBS.
One of the doctors I worked with, former AMA president Bill Glasson, now wants to help me form a government by winning a parliamentary seat for the Coalition!
As a minister for nine years, I respect the professionalism of the public service.
In the longer term, though, we have to rely less on bureaucrats and put more trust in the common sense of the Australian people.
We need smaller, more efficient government if our country is to stop paying $20 million in interest alone every single day and avoid the fate of much of the Eurozone.
Margie and I know what it's like to wrestle with a mortgage, fight traffic jams, juggle school fees and health insurance premiums and shop around to beat prices that just keep going up and up.
We know how much love and commitment goes into sustaining the local organisations that make Australia the best country in the world.
As prime minister, I won't let people down by saying one thing and doing another.
After the election, people should be able to watch parliament with pride and confidence in our country.
My role will be to look for the best in people and encourage it.
My vision for Australia is that more of us will come closer to being our best selves.