Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrives at Sydney Airport on his first anniversary as PM and on Fathers Day in Sydney, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrives at Sydney Airport on his first anniversary as PM and on Fathers Day in Sydney, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. AAP Image - Tracey Nearmy

PM pledges to protect the vulnerable in anniversary address

AFTER a year in power and a budget criticised as hitting the poorest Australians the hardest, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has pledged to "protect the vulnerable" in a one-year anniversary address.

Mr Abbott took to Youtube over the weekend to commemorate one year since the Coalition took power from the second-term Labor Government on September 7, 2013.

But, the Prime Minister said, it had not all been "smooth sailing", particularly due to a tough first budget from Treasurer Joe Hockey, much of which has failed to pass the Senate four months on.

As Labor leader Bill Shorten hit out on Sunday against what he called a government of "broken promises" and "arrogance", Mr Abbott said his government had still achieved several of its pledges.

Mr Shorten told reporters Mr Abbott had "lied his way into office" and in the year since, Australians had "a right to feel both angry and disappointed" by the government.

Chief among them, Mr Abbott touted achievements in "stopping the boats" and repealing the carbon and mining taxes, despite pre-election promises of not cutting health and schools funding now in tatters.

In a video released to commemorate the occasion, Mr Abbott said he would now focus on protecting the vulnerable and to "stop the rip-offs"; although he did not explain what "rip-offs" he was referring to.

While the commentariat has largely blamed the government's failure to gain traction with voters on it's failed "budget sell", Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was hailed as one of the government's top achievers in the first year.

Ms Bishop had helped navigate the Indonesian spying scandal which rocked the government's first months in office, as well as help get new trade agreements finalised with Japan and Korea. - APN NEWSDESK


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