‘Labor better at politics but Liberal is the party for the migrant’


Former PM Tony Abbott believes the South Asian migrant community has taught Australia the importance of devotion to family, a solid education and small business

At a recent meet with sub-continental media representatives in Sydney, former prime minister of Australia Tony Abbott spoke about current issues like same-sex marriage plebiscite, climate change policy, trade, small business and tax reforms.

Mr Abbott said that though Labor appears to be better connected to the ethnic community as compared to the Liberal Party, he reiterated that when he was the Prime Minister, he made all efforts to be close to ethnic communities through multicultural media.

“Labor is better at politics, and has more money, but at the end of the day, the Liberal Party is a better fit for the migrant community,” said Mr Abbott, explaining that the migrant community from South Asia continues to remind the nation about “the importance of devotion to family, and how the family is the foundation of society”, which are values that the Liberal Party believes in as well.

“The migrant community from South Asia has taught us the importance of three things in particular—devotion to family, a solid education and the value of small business.  That’s what people do in a new country—they roll up their sleeves and get to work. Liberal is the party for the migrant, for the small business owner,” said Mr Abbott, and outlined the support by the Australian government despite the political changes to small businesses through consideration of tax rates.

In terms of the plebiscite on the same sex marriage, Mr Abbott said that as the nation nears the end of the referendum, he hoped the results would “reinforce the traditional definition of marriage and family”. “There will never be a consensus on the issue. It is good to conduct such a referendum with 24 million people rather than deciding in the Parliament on this important community issue. Such a referendum will be expensive. We will await the outcome,” said Mr Abbott.

Speaking on climate change policy and Paris accord, Mr Abbott said, “Any further changes to the climate policy cannot be at the cost of economy. By implementing smarter management of power in homes, manufacturing and agriculture, we can achieve the same targets. However they are not mandatory targets.”

And as for his thoughts on India, Mr Abbott said, “I have strong respect for the world’s largest democracy. India will emerge as a global superpower soon.”

He added that he would love to go back to India. “I first visited India when I was a student at university. I travelled through Bihar and Kashmir and I loved it. When I visited the country as PM I didn’t get a chance to really experience it again because my schedule would not permit that. It was always 24 hours in Mumbai, another 24 in Delhi and then a few hours here and there and then it would be time to fly back,” said Mr Abbott, adding that another country he looks forward to visiting is Sri Lanka. “I want to do a surfing trip there,” he said.


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