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Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Page: 35

Ms CLAYDON (Newcastle) (13:54): In a power grab for the top job, Prime Minister Turnbull has traded-off his past convictions and beliefs for his own personal gain. The evidence is clear. The Prime Minister says one thing to gain popularity, and then does the opposite to keep his conservative colleagues at bay.

Before wresting the top job, the Prime Minister said of the Liberal's climate policy: 'The Coalition does not have the best climate change policy, in my view.' We remember that. Here in this place, nearly six years ago to the day, he said:

Having the government pick projects for subsidy is a recipe for fiscal recklessness on a grand scale …

Rather than act on his beliefs, when he has ultimate influence over Liberal policy the Prime Minister has instead fallen in line to protect his own job.

The same goes for marriage equality and Australia as a republic. On 15 September 2015, just months ago, the now Prime Minister said about marriage equality: 'I certainly think we should have a free vote and I've been very public about that.' Then, days later, when he stepped in as Prime Minister he backed a costly plebiscite.

On a republic, the Prime Minister said: 'It needs a Prime Minister and a Leader of the Opposition working together to promote a yes vote.' Today we have a situation where, instead of acting on his alleged beliefs, he falls in line again. Jeff Kennett certainly got it right—(Time expired)