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Beattie: Howard Is The Past, Latham Is The Future

Last updated on December 27, 2023

This is the text of the speech given by Queensland Premier Peter Beattie at the ALP’s Official Campaign Launch for the federal election.

  • Listen to Beattie’s speech (7m)

Transcript of Peter Beattie’s speech at the ALP campaign launch.

BeattieWelcome to Queensland.

This election is about Australia’s future.

And it’s very plain.

John Howard is the past.

Mark Latham is the future.

A State Labor Government has made Queensland the engine room of Australia.

We’ve got the lowest unemployment rate since records began and the lowest strike rates.

We’ve proved that the sort of policies that Mark Latham wants to introduce are good for jobs and good for business.

We could do even better with a Latham Government that’s prepared to extend the hand of co-operation to the states instead of a Howard Government pointing the finger of blame.

My Government is doing all it can to make sure that our children – and grand children – have the best opportunity to reach their full potential.

What this means is having access to quality education and health services.

We’re introducing a prep year in Queensland to help our kids get the best possible start in life.

We could do even better with a Latham Government that’s prepared to co-operate with us on funding instead of a Howard Government competing with us by setting up a completely new education bureaucracy.

My Government is providing record numbers of patients with surgery on time as part of commitment to health and I know that Mark has that same commitment.

We could do even better with a Latham Government putting money into health instead of a Howard Government that’s taken $160M out of our system.

Mark’s Medicare package would give Qld back the funding John Howard has taken away and make it easier for Queenslanders to see a doctor who bulk-bills.

Mark has many exciting new ideas for Australia – and that’s what we need.

My view on leadership is that it’s about two things: good ideas, and a determination to see them through.

The Howard Government is failing on both counts.

On ideas, they’re tired and out of puff.

And on determination, they’re determined to run a candidate for Prime Minister who’s set to cut and run in the next three years.

Peter Costello is lurking (and smirking) in the shadows.

What we don’t need and can’t afford is more of John Howard.

We don’t want more of John Howard’s funding cuts to our Hospitals.

We don’t want more of John Howard looking after the wealthy at the expense of battlers in our schools and Universities.

What we need is Mark Latham because he’s passionate about saving Medicare before it’s too late.

He’s passionate about expanding our educational and training opportunities.

He’s passionate about making sure Australian families come first.

Isn’t it great to have a leader with passion!

Mark Latham is ready to govern, with a plan – as he puts it – to ease the squeeze on our families and secure the home front.

The choice for Australians could not be clearer.

John Howard is the past – Mark Latham is the future.

Mark wants to build for the future.

This is a time for optimism, for hope, for a focus on the future.

That’s what Queenslanders want to hear and I know that’s what Australians want to hear.

That’s why Mark Latham has the right approach.

—- John Howard asks us to trust him.


Look up the words “John Howard non core promises” on Google — and you get 33,400 entries.

John Howard’s policies have widened the gap between rich and poor.

We need a leader who will unite us as a Nation so that we all prosper….

…instead of a leader dividing us for his own profit through wedge politics.

In Mark Latham, Labor is offering a fresh face, with new ideas and a commitment to a future for everyone in this country.

He’s also a tough and determined character who I’ve looked in the eye and I know he’s ready to be Prime Minister.

But first I’d like to introduce you to someone who knows first hand what it’s like to raise a family today and someone who knows Mark the best.

Ladies and Gentlemen, friends, it’s my privilege now to introduce the person Australia needs as its Prime Minister – Mark Latham.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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