Prime Minister encourages Aussies to pray for farmers
AN EVANGELICAL-SOUNDING Scott Morrison wants Australians to love each other and his party members to love each other too.
In a speech in Albury today, the prime minister harked back to the values Robert Menzies used to establish the Liberal party in the NSW border town in 1943.
"Robert Menzies brought them here to unite them about what they believed in," Mr Morrison told the Menzies Research Centre forum today.
"Because you can't just be about what you're opposed to, you've got to be about what you're for."
In a speech that sounded at times like a sermon, Mr Morrison said bringing the country together started with individual choices.
"We all love Australia. Of course we do. But do we love all Australians? That's a different question, isn't it?" he said.
"We've got to. That's what brings a country together. You love all Australians if you love Australia."
Mr Morrison ruled out making any policy announcements in the speech, instead revealing the values he hopes Australians adopt.
He said anyone worried about what he would do to Medicare or Centrelink should know he is committed to looking after people.
"Remember, my value is: we look after our mates," he said.
"That's why we have a safety net in this country, to protect people. But it works as a trampoline, not as a snare."
After dumping a policy to raise the retirement age from 67 to 70, Mr Morrison said he would listen to older and younger Australians.
"We respect our young Australians by listening to them about their hopes for the future and their concerns for the future," he said.
"Whether it's environment issues in particular, my ears are very alert. The War On Waste - yes, I have seen it, (on the) ABC.
"I get it. That's what's focusing and concerning them, so that means it matters to me too."
Mr Morrison said he was praying for rain in drought-affected areas, and he urged those who "believe in the power of prayer" to pray too.
"I pray for that rain everywhere else around the country. And I do pray for that rain. And I'd encourage others who believe in the power of prayer to pray for that rain and to pray for our farmers. Please do that," he said.
"And everyone else who doesn't like to do that, you just say, 'Good on you, guys. You go well.' Think good thoughts for them, or whatever you do."
He promised "a fair go for those who have a go".
"I think that's what fairness means in this country. It's not about everybody getting the same thing," he said.
"If you put in, you get to take out."