More than in many other countries, Australia’s unique environment often provides reminders and lessons about the force of nature and how powerless we are before it.
Our latest reminder has been Cyclone Jasper. Queensland is no stranger to cyclones, and the first one for this season has been a whopper. Whole communities have been evacuated as the far north of the state deals with record rainfall measured in metres.
I’ve been heartened to see the Australian spirit shining through in this crisis, something we see each and every time we’re challenged by natural disasters. It’s shown by the courageous individuals who take initiative and use their own resources to save lives and property in all the chaos. It’s shown by the volunteers in uniform who risk their lives to help impacted communities. It’s shown by the generosity of Australians who give much to support families who’ve lost everything.
No matter the problems – natural and man-made – facing our country, this spirit always gives me hope for the future of Australia. As a nation we’re resilient, we’re innovative and we’re compassionate. We can deal with our problems and come out the other side all the better for it.
Perhaps the only thing we lack to harness this spirit is effective leadership. I don’t know about anyone else but it’s been a long time since I had real confidence that an Australian prime minister was putting our nation first and governing entirely in our best interests.
The current Prime Minister gives me no confidence at all. His government’s policies often work directly against our best interests, and when things inevitably go wrong he blames everyone but himself and heads overseas. That’s not what I call effective leadership.
However there’s always the hope that’s inspired by people demonstrating that Australian spirit, and some light on the horizon. The government is finally conceding that immigration is too high and moving to reduce it. The opposition is finally talking about nuclear energy, and banning foreign ownership of residential property.
These are, of course, long-time One Nation policies to address our housing crisis and the need for greater energy security and affordability. Effective leadership comes in many forms, and I’ll always exercise it in the best interests of Australia and Australians.
It’s important we remember that for many families it’s been a very difficult 2023, and some of them will still be doing it tough this festive season. We have challenges ahead of us in 2024 and beyond. I’m confident we can work together in that great Australian spirit and meet them head on.
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.