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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1356

Western Australian State Election


Mr BURKE (WatsonManager of Opposition Business) (15:07): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to his earlier answers where he has defended his industry minister's describing One Nation as 'more sophisticated'. Given it is now reported that One Nation—which the WA Liberal Party is preferencing above the Nationals—has advocated killing Indonesian journalists and made hate-filled, derogatory attacks on gay people, Muslims and Indigenous Australians, does the Prime Minister stand by his earlier answers? How long can the Turnbull government continue to pretend that One Nation is just like any other party?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (15:08): I am not going to be verballed by the member for Watson. The reality is, as he knows, that political parties in our preferential system assign preferences in their own interests. And I may as well ask whether the member for Watson agrees in free heroin; whether he agrees in abandoning the American alliance; whether he agrees, for example, in loosening Australia's gun laws? I think not. The fishers and shooters party was preferenced by the Labor Party, in the Orange by-election just recently, ahead of the National Party.

The reality is that all political parties in Australia, particularly at the federal level with compulsory preferential voting, allocate preferences in their own interests, and, when we allocate preferences, we do so for the purpose of ensuring that more Liberal and National members are elected to parliament. That is our objective.

The SPEAKER: Has the Prime Minister concluded his answer?

Mr TURNBULL: No.

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the Opposition on a point of order?

Mr Shorten: On relevance: why is this Prime Minister putting his own interests—

The SPEAKER: No, the Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat. The Leader of the Opposition might not like the answer, but there can be no claim the answer was not relevant. The Prime Minister is completely relevant to the question.

Mr TURNBULL: What we saw there was the biggest glass jaw in Australian politics. We had his snivelling personal explanation, earlier in the week—almost bursting into tears—that the mean people on the government side had said nasty things about him. He cannot take it. And he cannot take the truth about his own hypocrisy. And there he is, standing up here, abusing the standing orders, defying the Speaker, to give his torrent of abuse.

Well, I will say this: if the honourable member for Watson wants to know what my views are or my party's views are on those issues, then you look to us. And we stand for a non-discriminatory immigration program. We stand behind Australia, the most successful multicultural society in the world. We support the United States alliance, the bedrock of our security—which is not what the Greens party supports. And we do not believe that heroin should be free, either. And I do not think the Labor Party does either—but they preference the Greens again and again and again. The hypocrisy from the Labor Party is insupportable—the duplicity, the inconsistency, from the Leader of the Opposition; his snivelling pleas for mercy. This glass jaw has to be revealed for what it is. He can't take it. He can't deliver. He can't govern.

Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.