The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

18 June 2011

NO.020

Conviction At Our Core

Remarks to Introduce Prime Minister Gillard, Queensland Labor Conference

Brisbane

18 June 2011

Thank you delegates for welcoming me back here today to a conference that brings back so many memories for me. Thank you to the President of the Party and also my good friend Anthony Chisholm for the opportunity to be here.

It's fantastic to be here with the Premier and other colleagues - state and federal - and most importantly with the rank and file. It really is an extraordinary honour to be able to address you as Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer.

I've been a Labor man since the mid-70s. I think I was first elected to this conference some thirty years ago - so I'm no spring chicken. And I've had the privilege of working with many people in this room to deliver government to Wayne Goss in 1989 and to deliver City Hall to Jim Soorley in 1991, laying the foundations for later successes.

Those guys remain real heroes of our movement. People of political courage and conviction, who were impelled into politics through a sense of outrage about what was happening to the rights of Queenslanders, our environment, and prospects for our kids. Their story - and the story of Peter and Anna's leadership after them - has now become the story of a state on the cusp of $100 billion of investment and 140,000 new jobs over the next two years.  A state that isn't just on the verge of a resources boom but on the verge of an opportunities boom as well.

Delegates, we've come a long way, but there's a long way to go yet. And only courage and conviction will get us where we want to be - a country where success in life is determined by effort and education and enterprise and not where you were born or who your parents are.

Only courage and conviction will counter the scare campaigns and the misinformation and the rubbish printed by partisan commentators who masquerade as independent, informed analysts.

We are the Labor Party,  proud to be Labor.

So we find that courage and conviction in two places: in the deep reserves within each of you, the rank and file of the broad labour movement - our unions and our branches; and in the leaders we elect to represent us.

I mentioned before I've been a proud Labor man for four decades. And in that time I have never worked with someone with such deep reserves of political courage and Labor conviction than the woman I am so honoured to introduce today. We're talking about someone who had the belief and the conviction to get rid of WorkChoices - that dagger aimed at the heart of the decent working people we were founded to represent.

Someone who had the conviction to follow through on a tax on spectacular mining profits - and to put that revenue to the service of the Australian people, so we can build better infrastructure and more retirement savings for people on low incomes. Someone with the belief and the conviction to tackle climate change by putting a price on pollution, building that clean energy economy we'll need if we're to be a first rate economy into the future.

And when disaster struck our state earlier this year, she was here with Anna, displaying her compassion, and applying the military and financial muscle of the Commonwealth to the task of reconstruction.

She's a person who proves that Labor's conviction and compassion are alive and kicking. She's someone I greatly admire personally. Someone who is a great inspiration to us all.

Not just the first female prime minister of Australia. But a real, conviction-driven, compassionate Labor Prime Minister of Australia at this crucial time in our national story. Delegates please welcome her up: Julia Gillard.