Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 7 July 2011
Page: 8050

Ms JULIE BISHOP (CurtinDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:55): I second the motion. This government's credibility is rock bottom. Its credibility is rock bottom because this Prime Minister's personal credibility is in tatters. At the heart of this government's problems—

Mr Fitzgibbon: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition has made no attempt to address the matter before the House.

The SPEAKER: The member has been on her feet for 20 seconds. She knows what the motion is.

Ms JULIE BISHOP: The reason this government's credibility is rock bottom and the reason this Prime Minister's personal credibility is rock bottom is that this Prime Minister and this government are trying to introduce a tax, impose a burden on the Australian people, having made a statement just six days before the last election that the Australian people believed—they took this Prime Minister at her word—and how she has betrayed them. How she has deceived them. The Australian people should have learned from what happened to the member for Griffith when the member for Griffith was so betrayed by her, when he was so betrayed by his deputy, who would said she would rather—

The SPEAKER: The Deputy Leader of the Opposition will relate her speech to the suspension motion.

Ms JULIE BISHOP: fly to Mars than challenge the member for Griffith—but she did. She then said to the Australian people, six days before the election, 'There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.'

Mr Melham: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am reluctant to do this, but the reality is that, on a number of occasions, you have advised those speaking that they should speak to why there should be a suspension of standing orders, not in relation to these erroneous matters that have nothing to do with the standing orders.

The SPEAKER: The member for Banks will resume his seat. From now until the end, you wish me to strictly enforce that? We will see what problems that brings.

Ms JULIE BISHOP: The reason we seek to censure this Prime Minister is that this government is trashing parliamentary democracy. This government is refusing to answer questions day after day in question time. This government is afraid of having to face the people through this parliament. I wonder why that would be. You see, when you lie to the Australian people via the media, there are not the consequences—

The SPEAKER: Order! The member will withdraw.

Ms JULIE BISHOP: I withdraw. When you make a misleading statement in the parliament, oh yeah, there are consequences, but when you mislead the Australian people through the media there are not the consequences, other than you lose the next election because you have lost the faith of the Australian people. A breach of faith with the Australian people is the reason that this government's credibility is rock bottom.

When the Prime Minister was seeking to woo the Independents, to win over the Independents to prop up her minority government, she made a number of pledges. She made a number of pledges to the Independents in her speech to the National Press Club. She promised—

Mr Fitzgibbon: Who's 'she'?

Ms JULIE BISHOP: The Prime Minister. Aren't you aware of who your Prime Minister is? She made the pledge that she would strengthen the role of the national parliament in the decisions that affect the everyday lives of Australians. That was the Prime Minister's pledge—

A government member: Miaow!

Ms JULIE BISHOP: to the Independents and to the Australian people, yet she has trashed that pledge, as she has trashed every promise to the Australian people. The fact is that she looked the Australian people in the eye and said, 'There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead,' and yet she now seeks to impose it.

The Prime Minister also said in the National Press Club address that she believed Australians wanted greater scrutiny of their government. Well, yes, they do, and they want to be able to scrutinise this government's carbon tax through the parlia­ment. They want their questions, through their representatives, answered by this Prime Minister, yet she is scurrying away from Canberra. After the lights have been turned out, after the people have left, after the members are back in their electorates, then the Prime Minister wants to make a speech on national television about the carbon tax so that she cannot be asked questions in this parliament. She is avoiding scrutiny. She is trashing parliamentary democracy. She has broken the pledge she made to the Independents about the supremacy of this parliament and she cannot be believed on anything she says. This carbon tax is based on a lie. The Prime Minister's credibility is in tatters.

The SPEAKER: Order! There was an incident during the Deputy Leader's speech. If I knew who the culprit was—

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! You can point your fingers all you like.

Ms O'Dwyer: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: with all due respect, it is very important that you look to the tapes to find out who made that catcall. I think it is an outrageous serve—

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Higgins will resume her seat. If you want me to use the word 'disgust' I will use the word 'disgust' and I would have dealt with it if I knew who it was. I have already indicated to those who control behaviour that they should do so. The Prime Minister has the call.