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Thursday, 21 March 2013
Page: 2364

Prime Minister


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:00): My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister. Does he still have full confidence in the Prime Minister?


Senator CONROY (VictoriaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity) (14:00): I think my position on this is exceptionally well known. I have total confidence in and support for the Prime Minister and I will continue to have.


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:00): I thank the minister for his first direct answer. Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. I refer the minister to Mr Crean's first press conference this morning when he said that the government had to 'get its act together'. Does he agree with Mr Crean's comments?


Senator CONROY (VictoriaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity) (14:00): Obviously, I think Mr Crean indicated he was resigning. I did not see all of his—

Senator Fifield: His first press conference.

Senator CONROY: His first one, I am sorry. In his second one I thought he had.

Senator Fifield: No, only if he wins.

Senator CONROY: I was not actually watching his press conference. I am just going on reports, but I do not agree with Mr Crean.

Senator Ian Macdonald: There's an acting minister.







Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:01): Mr President, I ask a further supplementary question. I refer the minister to Mr Crean's further statements at his first press conference today that the government was 'in a state of stalemate' and in his second press conference today when he said the government was 'in a state of deadlock'. Does the minister agree with Mr Crean's comments? Isn't it the truth that he serves in a government which is disintegrating before our very eyes?


Senator CONROY (VictoriaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity) (14:02): I take the interjection from Senator Macdonald. I think he indicated that Mr Crean had resigned. As I said, perhaps I was misinformed, but Senator Macdonald certainly is indicating that. I clearly do not believe that. This government is delivering programs like the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It is delivering programs like the National Broadband Network. It is introducing significant further reforms in education. It has an economy that is envied around the world. We have unemployment with a five in front of it. We have inflation with a two in front of it. We have growth with a three in front of it. Those sorts of numbers demonstrate this government is delivering sound economic management to this country. Those opposite—the flat earth society over there—simply mislead, day in and day out, the Australian public. The economy at three per cent is flatlining; it has no pulse—that is what Senator Brandis has claimed in the chamber. Three per cent growth and those opposite simply— (Time expired)