A BUILDING best known for hosting an annual model train show on Thursday became the place where new Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave Australians a gauge on his governing style.
The Liberal Party leader offered a stopping-all-stations insight into his political mantra and vision at Lavington’s Mirambeena Community Centre.
Before fellow party heavyweights, mayors, students and Liberal Party members, Mr Morrison like a train conductor on the PA system laid out a course.
Invoking party founder Sir Robert Menzies, who came to Albury in 1944 to draw up the Liberals’ constitution, Mr Morrison found his platform.
“This is an important ritual for us to come here today, where Robert Menzies came all those years ago, to come here and pledge to that legacy, to that heritage, as a ritual, and to show the things that we believe in today are the things that he believed in then and the things we will always believe in as a Liberal Party,” Mr Morrison said.
The Spirit of Progress had left the station in rhetorical form and become the ScoMo Aurora.
Taking his signals from Sir Robert, Mr Morrison stressed his adherence to Menzian tenets of affordable housing, decent health services and freedoms of faith, religion, association and speech.
But showing he was now in the driver’s cabin of the Liberal Express, Mr Morrison hammered in his own four dog spikes of philosophy.
“These are the things that I believe in,” he said.
“I believe in a fair go for those who have a go in this country.
“I think that’s what fairness means in this country.
“It’s not about everybody getting the same thing, if you put in you get to take out and you get to keep more of what you earn.
“Secondly we’ve got to look after our mates.
“Every Australian matters and that’s why we have a safety net in this country to protect people, but it works as a trampoline not as a snare.
“Our social safety net enables people to either bounce back up and to get back up on their feet or it provides them with that place of comfort and support that they need during challenging times in their life.”
Rolling through, Mr Morrison stressed the importance of giving rather than taking before mentioning the party of Ben Chifley, the only locomotive driver to be PM.
“Here’s a key one...and I think this is where there is a key difference between us and the Labor Party,” he said.
“I don’t believe that for you to do better that you have to do worse.
“I don’t think you need to be taxed more for you to be taxed less.
“I don’t think that for someone to get ahead in life you’ve got to pull others down.
“I believe that we should be trying to lift everybody up at once, that we get away from this politics of envy.
“I know things are tough for Australians right across the country...but we don’t get anywhere by trying to say ‘well it’s all their fault..if we bring them down I can go up’.
“That’s not fairness in Australia, that’s just utterly envy and I have no truck with that whatsoever. I want to see all Australians succeed and none at the expense of another.”
After branching off with mentions of the drought and the need to prayer for rain, quoting predecessor John Howard on border security and saying he loves all Australians, the ScoMo Aurora reached its terminus.
Fellow travellers, deputy Liberal leader and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, got to their feet to lead a standing ovation.
Albury’s own Liberal Express ticket seller and assistant minister Sussan Ley thanked the PM, noting that “here at the Mirambeena Centre there’s been a piece of Liberal Party history made”.
By next year’s miniature railway show at the Mirambeena centre in May we may know if the model of life envisaged through the ScoMo Aurora has got a majority of Australians on board or been derailed and the Liberal Party is looking for a new coach.