PRIME MINISTER: Well, there’s nothing like coming home and there’s nothing like coming home here to the Shire where Jenny and I have made our home and our family life, and for Abbey and Lily, who started school here a few years’ ago now, and and obviously going elsewhere to school now. But I love this community. This community has given me so many opportunities, and our family, so many opportunities. And I’m very grateful to my local electorate here in Cook in the Sutherland Shire.
People here, they work very hard. There’s so many small business people. People building families, building homes, supporting each other, as this community always has. It’s got one of the highest rates of volunteerism anywhere in the country. Strong values. And I, it’s just such an honour to be able to represent the local electorate of Cook. It has been an incredible honour to do that and I look forward to continuing to do it after today especially, as we’ve gone to the polls.
At the end of the day, no one gets to serve in the positions that I’ve had the great privilege, and seek to continue to have, in positions of the Prime Minister or Treasurer or Minister, unless you are first supported by your local community, and this community has informed my values significantly. Those values are a fair go if you have a go. Those values of working hard. Those values of family and community have informed so much of my outlook on the future that I seek for Australia.
And so today Australians are making a big choice about their future. They’re making a choice about who they believe is best able to manage the economy, who is best able to manage finances, who’s best able to secure that strong economy that’s so critical for a stronger future. I want the aspirations of Australians to be realised and the way that occurs is by backing Australians in, not telling them how to live and what to do and getting Government in their face. It’s about ensuring that you’re backing them in to achieve everything that they hope to achieve.
So it’s a great honour to be here in my very, very local community here in Lilli Pilli and to see so many friends, some I haven’t seen for for a little while, not just six weeks, but a bit longer than that. And I want to thank the community here for all their tremendous support.
JOURNALIST: PM, you’ve cast your vote now. The campaigning is finished. You’re heading home this afternoon. How are you feeling about your position right now?
PRIME MINISTER: Well, it’s this this election has never been about me or my feelings or anything like that. It’s always been about the Australian people. That’s what our Government is all about, and will continue to be all about. Because I have seen Australians, with Jenny – at their best, and in some of the worst of times for them. And on every occasion I have seen the great strength and resilience of Australians and that’s, you know, what has, what has pulled us through, supported by our Government with policies that believe in Australians. That’s what’s enabled Australia to be one of the strongest performing economies in the advanced world today. That’s the reason why we have one of the lowest death rates from COVID today and the highest vaccination rates. And that’s why we can look forward to the future with confidence. And I look forward to being able to supporting people in their aspirations, and particularly to own their own home. There are still many hours of voting to go, and I can tell you, if you want to own your own home by getting access to your own superannuation, there’s only one way you can do that, and that’s voting Liberal National today.
JOURNALIST: Reports have just dropped now that a a vessel has been intercepted in an attempt to illegally enter Australia from Sri Lanka. What do you, what’s your response to that?
PRIME MINISTER: Well, I can confirm that, that there has been an interception of a vessel en route to Australia. That vessel has been intercepted in accordance with the policies of the Government and they’re following those normal protocols. And I can simply say this. I’ve been here to stop this boat. But in order for me to be there to stop those that may come from here, you need to vote Liberal and Nationals today. And in the interests of full transparency, in the middle of an election campaign, the Labor Party was advised of this and a statement is being issued by the Border Protection authorities.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, if you lose tonight, your critics will remember your Prime Ministership for your handling of Black Summer, the handling at the start of the vaccine rollout, the handling of the Brittany Higgins allegations, sports rorts, car park rorts, Alan Tudge, Christian Porter. If you lose tonight, how do you want your Prime Ministership to be remembered?
PRIME MINISTER: That will be for others to determine. What I know is that each and every day I’ve approached this job with a great sense of responsibility. On every day, I’ve sought to do it with a great sense of humility, out of respect for the Australian people who I serve. And that is the same spirit in which I continue to seek to do that job, and I’ve put myself forward for again today. I’m the first Prime Minister in a very long time that’s been able to go through a term and face the people on a second time. And I’m seeking that support because I know this country is facing some strong and difficult and challenging times, and what Australia needs is someone who knows how to manage money, knows how to deal with our national security interests, knows how to be able to move forward and secure that strong economy, because a strong economy means a stronger future. The alternative is a weaker economy. The alternative is, as Labor themselves has confirmed, higher debt, higher deficit, that only puts up, upward pressure on interest rates and on inflation. But we’ve had the opportunity for many press conferences over the course of this election. And right now I’m going to go home and spend some time with my family. Thanks very much everyone.