darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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September 26, 2011

A lot of people are asking me whether Prime Minister Julia Gillard will survive in her job as the opinion polls continue to trend downwards.

I don’t believe it matters who leads the Labor Party at the moment – if they are not prepared to change their policies, they won’t win the next election.

The biggest issue for the government at the moment is the public’s lack of confidence in its ability to make a decision and implement its policies.

The Labor-Greens-Independent Government is a chaotic mess and the most obvious examples of a dysfunctional government is the debate over the carbon tax and asylum seekers.

Election campaigns are like contracts – when you sign a contract, you keep your side of the deal or there will be repercussions. In an election campaign, when you make a promise, you keep your side of the deal, or there will be repercussions.

All the Australian people want from this Prime Minister is to keep her side of the deal – to honour her solemn contract with the Australian people that there will be no carbon tax under a government she leads.

It is this fundamental breach of trust which has led to most of Prime Minister Gillard’s problems. The public simply doesn’t believe what she says and they want to have their say on the carbon tax before it is introduced.

I conducted a recent survey in local newspapers which received 700 responses. More than 75% of the people who returned the survey said they didn’t want a carbon tax.
Prime Minister Gillard has a similar problem with her border security failures.

In the past, the Labor Party attacked the Howard Government’s policies and Ms Gillard said: “Another boat arrival, another policy failure”.

The problem for Ms Gillard is that the previous policy helped to stop the boats. The policies put in place were effective in discouraging people from making a risky journey in unsafe vessels, and the people smugglers were put out of business.

Now, the government doesn’t have an effective border protection policy and the people smugglers are deciding who comes to Australia. I believe that most Australians support a humane policy for genuine refugees but Ms Gillard’s plan is to send asylum seekers to Malaysia without any guarantee for their safety.

It’s another mess and no-one is confident that this government has the capacity to fix the problem it has created.

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