Liberals have made us "prosperous": PM
PRIME Minister Scott Morrison believes Australia is now "more prosperous and more secure" since Liberal legend Robert Menzies brought together 18 "desperate" organisations and formed the party 75 years ago.
Addressing the Liberal Federal Council meeting on Saturday, which coincided with this milestone, Mr Morrison also thanked former prime minister John Howard for leading the the renaissance of the party in the mid-1990s.
"Australia is now more prosperous and more secure because that's what our party has brought to the table in our many years in government over many generations," Mr Morrison told the conference in Canberra.
Introducing Mr Morrison to conference, federal minister Karen Andrews said the party won the May 18 election through another "principled and unifying" leader.
"A leader who defied the odds to deliver genuine renewal and thirst, just as Menzies did 75 years ago," she said..
Mr Morrison said while Australia does face challenges, the response of the Liberals and its Nationals coalition partner is one of "certainty and stability".
"Australians did not vote on May 18 for the panic and crisis policies of the Labor Party, they voted for the stability and certainty," he said.
He also took the opportunity to list the government's achievements since returning to power in 2013.
"I tell you the one that absolutely lights me up, almost 1.5 million jobs," he said to applause of the party faithful.
"It's about jobs, it's about jobs, it's about jobs. Why is it about jobs? Because if you have got a job you have choice."
Jobs was also the theme of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speech to the conference.
She also ran through her government's agenda after winning the NSW state election just weeks before Mr Morrison was unexpectedly returned to power.
She said she was most "excited" about the building of Sydney's second airport at Badgerys Creek.
"Labor doesn't like it when we call ourselves the party of the workers because we're creating jobs, supporting people to get ahead," Ms Berejiklian told the conference.
Earlier, the federal director of the Liberal Party Andrew Hirst warned his colleagues not to underestimate the Labor opposition at the next federal election.
In his first public speech since the May 18 election, Mr Hirst said internal post-election research found the party's message was much clearer and consistent during the campaign.
For months polls had shown Labor would easily win that election.
"But faced with the prospect of what a Labor government would mean for our economy and country, our party chose to unite and to fight," Mr Hirst said.
But he warned the party faithful not to be complacent.
"While Labor has achieved a majority in only one federal election in the last quarter of a century we should never underestimate them," he said, adding work has already begun on the next campaign.