Abbott phones in

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Opposition Leader Tony Abbott tonight spoke to thousands of local residents as part of a unique phone hook-up aimed at engaging with the electorate in the lead-up to the election later this year.

At its peak, around 10,000 people were listening in to the conference call.

From a second Sydney airport to WestConnex, small business and the carbon tax, a whole range of issues were brought to the table by voters in the Lindsay electorate.

During the conference call, Mr Abbott re-affirmed his commitment to dump the unliked carbon tax as soon as he was elected.

“The first item of legislation that a new parliament considers will be the carbon tax repeals legislation,” he said.

“I believe it will be possible for the parliament to deal with that in a matter of months. I’m optimistic we’ll get carbon tax repeal legislation by Christmas.

“I want to assure people what one parliament does another parliament can undo.”

Mr Abbott was joined by Lindsay Liberal candidate, Fiona Scott, for the call.

“I think what’s important to us in Penrith and in Lindsay, is for a very long time we have been a political football and haven’t had leadership that has been local,” Ms Scott said.

“We need to have local people that will stand up for us. My job is very easy as candidate because we have a leader that wants to work hard for the people of Lindsay.”

Small business was another hot topic.

“We like to think we’ve got small business in the marrow of our bones, Fiona is a small business person herself, her family has been in business in Penrith for several generations, most of the members of my shadow cabinet, have one time or another have been in business whereas if you look at the ALP, just about every member of the front bench is a former union official, party official or public sector employee,” Mr Abbott said.

“We’ll get rid of the carbon tax, we’ll get rid of the mining tax, we’ll reduce business red tape cost by at least a billion dollars a year.

“We will have a small business minister in the cabinet as part of the treasury portfolio, so the voice of small business will be heard in the cabinet.”

Voters were invited to the conference call via a recorded message from Mr Abbott earlier in the week.

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