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Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Page: 920


Mr FITZGIBBON (Hunter) (13:48): In this House of Representatives, where governments are made and unmade, the largest single political party by far is the Australian Labor Party. The current Prime Minister only governs because of an arrangement he has with the National Party. He governs thanks to a deal. When the current Prime Minister overthrew the former Prime Minister the National Party was not happy. Eventually they said: 'No, it's okay. We've struck a new deal with the Liberal Party, so everything's okay.'

The question becomes: what is that deal? Nothing could be more fundamental to our democracy and to the Westminster system than that deal—the deal that keeps this Prime Minister and this government in power. But can the Australian people see the deal? No. Apparently it is a secret. It is so secret that I have been denied my FOI request for the coalition agreement. It is so secret that this government is now fighting me in the courts, spending taxpayers' money to keep that coalition agreement a secret.

The Australian people are entitled to ask what is in this deal that allows this Prime Minister to govern in partnership with the National Party. What is in this deal that he is keeping so secret from the Australian people?