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Thursday, 6 March 2014
Page: 1829


Mr PYNE (SturtLeader of the House and Minister for Education) (09:27): Madam Speaker, I want to speak briefly on the motion to suspend standing orders in order to explain the government's position. Obviously we are absolutely delighted—

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: There will be silence on my left.

Mr PYNE: to debate the Qantas Sale Amendment Bill 2014. The only reason we would not have debated it this morning is that, usually, the opposition want to go through their party processes and bills sit on the table for a week to allow them to do that. The government has gone through its party processes. We support the Qantas Sale Amendment Bill 2014. We are very happy to pass it, and we will pass it this morning.

This is one of the most extraordinary own goals that I have seen in 21 years in politics. The opposition is facilitating the government passing—in fact, demanding that it pass—its agenda, and we will. We will pass it this morning. The Qantas Sale Amendment Bill will then be in the Senate, and the Senate can debate it. Quite frankly, if Labor want to stand in the way of putting Qantas on the same footing as Virgin, that will hang around their necks, and every job that is lost at Qantas will be the opposition's fault.

The poor old Leader of the Opposition, who is a wholly owned subsidiary of the union movement, is displaying all the reasons why he should not be Prime Minister of Australia: he is a weak Leader of the Opposition, he is a wholly owned subsidiary and he is a small person when it comes to leadership. We are very happy to pass this motion to debate the Qantas Sale Amendment Bill, to pass it today and to have it in the Senate by lunchtime.

Question agreed to.