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Scott Morrison outlines road map for re-election in Sydney Institute address

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says there needs to be lower taxes and less regulation to secure Australia’s economic recovery in 2022, in a major speech that sets out his road map for re-election.

In an address to the Sydney Institute on Monday night, Mr Morrison also repeated his position that government needed to step back from people’s lives and not be a “meddling, busybody overseer”.

“As we turn the corner into 2022, it’s timely to reflect on ‘what matters most’ as we seek to secure our future in an uncertain world,” he said in his address.

“It’s been a disorienting time.

“Yet also a time of uncommon clarity – underscoring what matters most to Australians – our health, our families, our friends, our jobs, our communities, our governance, our national sense of fairness, our character, our country.”

Mr Morrison warned he believed “some on the left of politics” would draw “precisely the wrong lesson from the pandemic”.

“Where it is viewed as the pretext for a more expansive government role and reach into society – across economic, social and cultural domains,” he said.

“This would be a profound misjudgment, in light of both our liberal democratic inheritance and what now lies in front of us as we secure our recovery.

Camera IconPrime Minister Scott Morrison repeated that it was time for government to step back. NCA NewsWire/Martin Ollman Credit: News Corp Australia

“The reach of government in this pandemic is not some new norm – it has a use-by date.”

Mr Morrison hinted the government could look to lower taxes ahead of the election.

“Our economy is primed for growth. But securing our economic recovery in 2022 cannot be taken for granted,” he said.

“We must continue to get the fundamentals right – lower taxes, less regulation and sound public financial management.”

He said a major focus was getting about 207,000 Australians currently looking for work into jobs.

“Almost half have a university, trade or VET qualification. Nearly 40 per cent are under the age of 30,” he said.

Covid Testing
Camera IconMr Morrison said Covid had shown people what mattered most. NCA NewsWire/Jeremy Piper Credit: News Corp Australia

But he also noted a “sustainable” migration program had a role to play, after the government announced plans to take on 160,000 new migrants each year.

“We are the most successful immigration and multicultural nation in the world,” he said.

“We intend to keep it that way with a sustainable migration program that gets the balance right – keeping our borders secure, avoiding population pressures on our infrastructure and services, and meeting the labour needs of our economy, as well as family reunion and humanitarian obligations.”

Mr Morrison said the pandemic had shown how the public and private sectors could work together, and this should be continued.

Camera IconMr Morrison dangled the carrot of lower taxes. NCA NewsWire/Martin Ollman Credit: News Corp Australia

“Covid has shown that Australia works best when public and private realms work in tandem, in active partnership to solve problems and meet national challenges,” he said.

“I’ve seen this reality every day the past two years – from leadership by corporate CEOs right through to the little platoons in regional towns – the CWAs, the chambers of commerce, the church communities – that have kept our society humming and whole.”

He said JobKeeper – which effectively nationalised private payrolls – was the biggest example of this.

“My message tonight to Team Australia is that we still have a job to do,” he said.

“Our goal should be to further develop and strengthen a spirit of partnership between government, the private sector and community sector as we face the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.”

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