January 1st, 2011 (KATAKAMI / THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD) — IN THEIR new year messages the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, have voiced optimism for the year, and have reminded voters of their differences.
”As I look forward to 2011, I do see some challenges for our country,” Ms Gillard said.
”Like creating jobs in a strong economy, giving every child a great start in life at school, tackling climate change and persevering in our mission in Afghanistan.”
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Mr Abbott said: ”We should be optimistic about our future as long as we don’t forget those among us who are doing it tough.
”I hope 2011 will be a year of lower taxes, fairer welfare, better services and stronger borders and I’ll be talking to the Australian people about how best to achieve these important goals.”
Exhorting the population to work hard to keep Australia a ”lucky” country, Ms Gillard said Australians should look forward to a future as a fair and prosperous nation.
”As the fireworks fade and the cricket moves from Melbourne to Sydney, I’m proud to be Australian and excited about the year ahead.”
Mr Abbott promised he would do his best to protect Australian families from added burdens on their cost of living.
”I hope this year we will count our blessings and strive to be worthy of all of the advantages that go with being Australian.”
Ms Gillard said: ”I hope you enjoy the rest of your break, and come back full of energy and excitement – but not too soon. Happy new year.” (*)