“News of Matt Thistlethwaite’s ‘listening tour’ on the republic is hard to accept when Australians expect the Government to be dealing with core issues facing the country and not spending money on giving the republican movement a three-year head start on referendum campaigning,” says Shadow Attorney-General Julian Leeser MP.
“When Matt Thistlethwaite was appointed Assistant Minister for the Republic following the election this year, Labor was making a clear statement about how they feel entitled to behave. No longer does the responsibilities of a Minister or Parliamentary Secretary have to mean developing legislation and administering government services to the public, it now, apparently, can mean being a taxpayer funded campaigner for a cause that Australians never asked for, never expected and never voted for.
“Australians are already feeling the real pressures from cost of living-increases after Labor’s high taxing and high spending budget that offers not the slightest relief from cost-of-living pressures. Yet this same government is eager to spend taxpayer dollars sending the Assistant Minister for the Republic to campaign for Australia to shift to a republic something the Australian Republican Movement has been unable to convince Australians of for the last 30 years.
“It is hard to think of any other occasion in which a Government has so brazenly used a portfolio role in such an inappropriate way.
“This is tax-payer funded market research. When Matt Thistlethwaite declared himself that his goal is to ‘get people over the line’ he revealed the true approach of the Albanese Government—they want to know what Australians think so that they can pay marketing firms big dollars to change our minds.
“Labor needs to focus on addressing the major issues affecting Australian’s household budgets every day instead of treating voters as problems that need to be dealt with while they pursue their own agendas.”
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