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Thursday, 27 June 2013
Page: 7305

Mr PYNE (SturtManager of Opposition Business) (16:23): Listening to the Prime Minister on his matter of public importance today you could be forgiven for thinking that Rip Van Winkle had woken from a three-year-and-three-day-long sleep. Listening to the new Prime Minister speaking today, you could assume that three years and three days ago time stopped and nothing has happened since that time that anybody in Australia is allowed to remember, because Rip has woken from his very long sleep and all the apparent achievements that he has outlined today all occurred because of something linked to Rip Van Winkle, who has awoken from this deep sleep.

The Prime Minister has singularly failed in his address today to explain why the former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, had to be executed politically last night in this place. Listening to the new Prime Minister, you would think that we lived in a land of chocolates and roses, of wine and caring, and that in fact three years and three days ago time stopped on his watch and now he has been restored to his rightful place. Mr Smug is back and writ large—a condescending, patronising, smug, supercilious, sanctimonious, self-regarding new Prime Minister. That is who we now have as Prime Minister.

Mrs D'Ath interjecting

Mr PYNE: We didn't interrupt anybody else, Yvette.

Mrs D'Ath: Speaker, on a point of order: firstly, I would like to be referred to by my correct title and, secondly, I believe the member should withdraw in relation to the comments he made about the Prime Minister.

An opposition member interjecting

The SPEAKER: As I did not hear them, and for the sake of the good of the parliament, to which I think the member for Sturt would adhere, he should withdraw.

Mr PYNE: I am shocked, but I withdraw.

The SPEAKER: Thank you.

Mr PYNE: I am shocked that calling somebody self-indulgent and self-regarding is unparliamentary. But, as we are in the dying days of this dishonourable, horrible, low parliament, which sank to a new low last night when the Prime Minister was put to the political sword without explanation, I withdraw for the good of the House.

What we have seen in the last 24 hours is the most extraordinary display of delusion from a new Prime Minister. He says that there cannot be any negative politics—no negative politics. This is the man who sent out an email today saying:

Negative destructive personal politics has done much to bring dishonour to our parliament …

Well, someone needs to tell the member for Hunter, or the member for Reid, or the member for Barton, or the member for McMahon, or Chifley, or Corangamite—all of these members that have been sent out like a pack of wolves, for three years and three days, to tear down the member for Lalor down. She was never given a chance. I admire one thing about the member for Lalor: she was tough. But even she could not withstand the dogs of war that the new Prime Minister sent out against her three years and three days ago. Who can forget his teary farewell in the Prime Minister's courtyard? Butter would not melt in his mouth. He was shocked and amazed that he had been removed from the prime ministership. Today he is back, smug and self-regarding as ever and wanting everybody to put out of their minds, like a bad dream, the last three years and three days.

I felt sorry for the former Prime Minister today. I even smiled at her in the chamber in the dying days of this parliament. I said, 'What went wrong?' because, listening to the new Prime Minister, you would think she had led a great government that had made terrific achievements—forgetting all the terrible disasters of the last three years and offering no explanation as to why this apparently great prime minister, who led a great government, had to be torn down by the pack of wolves that he sent out to relentlessly and negatively campaign against her.

All of the headlines in the newspapers and all the leaking of polling that was done to destroy the former Prime Minister was orchestrated by Kevin Rudd and his supporters. Senator Carr from the Senate—Senator Kim Carr, I should say, rather than Senator Bob Carr—was one of the henchmen who was used to destroy Prime Minister Gillard. But Mr Rudd wants us all to forget these three years of relentlessly, negatively, personally denigrating and destroying the Prime Minister. All the terrible stories that were leaked to the tabloid press about the Prime Minister's partner—none of them could have been known by the opposition. They were all known by members of her caucus—

The SPEAKER: The member for Sturt: I understand that MPIs are far ranging in debate—

Mr Pyne: They are very far-reaching, Madam Speaker.

The SPEAKER: but this is over stretching the bounds of reach today and I would really be happy if we could maybe mention something to do with the MPI.

Mr PYNE: The MPI is how Australia needs a strong and stable government, and the first thing to deliver a strong and stable government is to explain to the Australian people why a prime minister had to be torn down by Kevin Rudd and his henchmen. The second way to deliver a stable country is to name a date for the election. One of the big stories today is that the Prime Minister is trying to slide away, like the snake in the grass that he is, from the election on 14 September.

The SPEAKER: The member will withdraw.

Mr PYNE: I withdraw, Speaker. The Prime Minister wants to avoid at all costs an election on 14 September. He wants to leave the date open. The people of Australia want an election. They demand a change. The people of Australia want to put this horrible parliament behind them and to elect a new government. I am sure the Minister for Health would agree with much of what I have said, because she was loyal to the former Prime Minister to the end. She was not one of their henchmen sent out to tear down the Prime Minister, unlike the member for Hunter and his coterie of people who have woven a very tangled web.