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Monday, 27 February 2012
Page: 1762

Labor Party Leadership


Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (14:00): My question is to the Prime Minister. Given that one-third of her parliamentary colleagues and a quarter of her cabinet colleagues have today expressed their lack of confidence in her, how can she claim to have a mandate to continue as Prime Minister?


Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:01): I say to the Leader of the Opposition that I always give him full marks for audacity, if not consistency. He comes into this parliament having survived his leadership issues by one vote. It is no wonder the Leader of the Opposition got some new suits after he became Leader of the Opposition. The rest of them were covered with blood!

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will return to the substance of the question.

Ms GILLARD: Let me be very clear with the Leader of the Opposition and the Australian people about the circumstances of today. As I have just explained to the Australian people, we met this morning and I have the overwhelming support of my colleagues. As a united team, we will be there providing the government this nation needs. We will be ensuring that we are managing the economy today in the interests of working people while we build the economy they will need tomorrow, so that they will have opportunities and prospects for themselves and for their children. At the same time, we will be providing the benefits that working families need. Unlike the Leader of the Opposition, we will not be cowering in the face of the challenges of the future. We will be addressing those challenges and building a clean energy future, ensuring that we share the proceeds of the mining boom.

To the Leader of the Opposition, who comes into this place to talk about trust and confidence, I say this. Australians can trust me to get the job done and they can have the confidence that, in the hardest of circumstances, I will win through in their interests, no matter how relentlessly negative the Leader of the Opposition is.




Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (14:02): Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the Prime Minister. How can the Prime Minister claim to be leading a united team when the former Prime Minister and the former foreign minister said that the Prime Minister had 'lost the trust of the Australian people' and 31 of her caucus colleagues backed the former Prime Minister?


Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:03): I remind the Leader of the Opposition that he comes into this parliament with half of his colleagues not supporting his leadership—they would have preferred Malcolm Turnbull. Sitting here as I do during question time I can sometimes see the member for Wentworth eyeing up a spot on the Leader of the Opposition's back. To the Leader of the Opposition, I say—

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! The Prime Minister will pause. She will be heard in silence for the balance of this answer.

Ms GILLARD: To the Leader of the Opposition and to his colleagues—

Mr Robb interjecting

The SPEAKER: The honourable member for Goldstein will leave the chamber under the provisions of standing order 94(a).

The member for Goldstein then left the chamber.

Ms GILLARD: To the Leader of the Opposition and to his colleagues I say this. I anticipate today that in question time the Leader of the Opposition will be focused on the Labor Party. I can assure him of this: we are focused on the nation's future. The Leader of the Opposition will never come in and ask a question about that because he has no policies, no plan, just negativity as his offering to the Australian people about the nation's future. We will stay on task. We are impatient to keep governing and making the decisions that this nation needs so that it has the future it deserves.