Tony Abbott: Election promises will be delivered
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has declared his government "will not fail" to achieve its election commitments, despite an uncertain future on key promises and budget measures when the new Senate sits on Monday.
Mr Abbott made the declaration on Thursday night to a conference in Melbourne, saying the Coalition's "contract with the Australian people" centred on four key promises.
But the political reality of achieving those pledges; to "stop the boats", repeal the carbon tax, "build the roads of the 21st century" and "get the budget back under control", are in danger of being unachievable.
While Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has achieved the first target, the government faces serious community and political opposition on how that aim has been achieved.
After debate this week centred on two unconfirmed boats, the government's policy does seemed to have stopped the boats arriving but not leaving source and intermediate countries.
The second part of Mr Abbott's contract, repealing the carbon tax, looks to be first on the agenda and likely to pass the Senate next week.
But Clive Palmer's declaration the Palmer United Party won't support the Coalition's direct action plan has put climate change back on the national debate, giving Labor and The Greens further ammunition.
Mr Abbott's pledge to improve the infrastructure system, has largely avoided budget cuts, including the security of a $2 billion regional fund, with infrastructure projects continuing to be delivered.
But the fourth promise to rectify the government's books is yet to materialise, with the new Senate expected to block billions in savings with little political consequence due the government not making the case for many cuts.
Mr Abbott also said his government would not be "justifying incompetence or trying to excuse negligence", despite the apparent refusal to act on a Senate call for a Royal Commission into the Commonwealth Bank sparking outrage this week.
However, he said there was still room for a "reforming Prime Minister", saying that Australians "will never be content to wallow in mediocrity".
"For the past ten months, a reforming government has been in place and is already making a difference," he said.
"The age of reform has not ended in Australia. It has only been interrupted and is now beginning again."
The government's four key promises, as laid out in the leader's speech on Thursday, will be on the agenda next week when the new Senate begins its work.
But the fate of those pledges will rest with eight crossbenchers who have a full six years' of work, and negotiation, ahead.