Statement on appointment to the Shadow Ministry

Sunday, 05 June 2022

I am humbled and honoured to be asked to serve as Shadow Treasurer by the Leader of the Opposition, Peter Dutton.  

My focus in this role will be on the aspirations of hardworking Australian families and businesses, particularly small businesses across the regions, the suburbs and the cities. 

I appreciate that I am taking on this role at a turbulent and increasingly uncertain time for the global economy. 

The last Parliament was confronted with extraordinary challenges from bushfires, floods, a global health and economic crisis, and more recently, the Russia-Ukraine war which is fueling a global economic downturn.

During this time, the Coalition stepped up and provided unprecedented economic support to keep Australians in their jobs, to support those unable to work and to keep small businesses alive.

We were clear then and we are clear now: these measures had to be temporary, targeted and scalable to the unique economic and health challenge we faced.

These measures supported Australia to emerge from COVID-19 in a world-leading position. 

But as we come out the other side of the pandemic, the time has passed for these kinds of government interventions in the economy. With inflation rising in Australia and around the world, it is time to restore the Budget to a more sustainable footing. 

The Coalition has given the Labor Party the toolkit it needs to continue Australia’s strong economic position with record low unemployment, strong GDP growth, historically low interest rates and the largest turn around to the budget bottom line in 70 years. 

We put a speed limit on taxes – keeping them below 23.9 per cent of GDP. Labor has not done this. 

They must take responsibility for what happens from here.

Labor’s $18.3 billion in promised extra spending and $45 billion in off-budget funds risks stoking inflation and putting at risk Australia’s AAA credit rating. 

If Australia’s credit rating goes down, Australian families’ mortgage payments will go up – it's that simple. 

We will hold Labor to account to ensure its heavy-handed approach does not lead to higher inflation, higher interest rates, higher taxes, or further drive-up prices for households and small businesses.

As Shadow Treasurer, I will consult with business, industry and experts on how we can work together to secure Australia’s prosperity, and support small businesses and aspirational, hard-working families.

Strong economic management is essential for Australians to realise their aspirations.

I look forward to working with my shadow ministerial colleagues and the Leader of the Opposition to ensure the Government delivers the policies our country needs at this important time.