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Transcript of doorstop interview: Parliament House: 11 October 2012: Tony Abbott, Peter Slipper, wheat industry deregulation, Craig Thomson, Bali bombing’s 10th Anniversary memorial service

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Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

Julie Bishop


Doorstop interview, Parliament House

Subjects: Tony Abbott, Peter Slipper, wheat industry deregulation, Craig Thomson, Bali bombing’s 10th Anniversary memorial service E&OE…… JULIE BISHOP Julia Gillard has made a vile charge against Tony Abbot. She has repeatedly called him a misogynist. This is not a figure of speech. It’s a deliberate and calculated statement by the Prime Minister that the Leader of the Opposition hates women. This is an utter and absolute lie, and the Prime Minister knows it. Tony Abbott is a loving son, loving brother, loving husband and loving father of many women; and it is an offence to claim that he hates women. As one of his female colleagues, I trust and respect Tony Abbott. I’ve worked closely with him for 14 years. Tony Abbott loves and cares for many women. It is deeply offensive for Julia Gillard to claim that he hates women. If she has a shred of decency left after the Peter Slipper affair, she should apologise to the women who Tony Abbott loves and cares for, and withdraw this offensive charge that he hates women. Julia Gillard has said that when she sees sexism and misogyny, she’ll call it for what it is. She put a person into the chair of Speaker who has been shown to be a misogynist, and she fought tooth and nail to keep him there. When Tony Abbott learned of the content of the Peter Slipper text messages he immediately came out and said that Peter Slipper’s position as Speaker is untenable. At the first opportunity in the Parliament he effectively called for Peter Slipper’s resignation. Not once, did Julia Gillard call for Peter Slipper’s resignation. In fact, she defended him staying in the chair, in the highest office in the Parliament, even though she knew of his sexist and misogynist statements. Julia Gillard should be judged on her actions, not on her words. QUESTION Julie Bishop, you’ve been Tony Abbott’s [inaudible] for the last few weeks. Do you think [inaudible] … JULIE BISHOP Tony Abbott became leader a couple of years ago. He asked me to stay on as his deputy because we’d worked so closely together when he was the Health Minister and I was the Minister for Aged Care. We had a great professional working relationship and he knew that we could work as a team. He supports me and I support him. QUESTION [inaudible] Mathias Cormann JULIE BISHOP It was clearly a mistake … [inaudible]…and it certainly won’t happen again. QUESTION What advise do you have regarding Bali JULIE BISHOP I only know what I’ve seen in the media. I’ve not had a separate briefing. I’m sure that the Leader of the Opposition would have had such a briefing because, of course, he is travelling to Bali tomorrow. …[inaudible] I will be taking part in the commemoration service here but I’m sure that Australian security and intelligence agencies are working closely with the Indonesians. I hope that the ceremony tomorrow will be conducted with the dignity and gravity that it deserves. QUESTION Is there any threat to your position as Deputy because of the position you’ve taken on wheat deregulation? JULIE BISHOP Any threat to my position? From whom? QUESTION Has there been any pressure on you from WA Liberal Nationals about wheat deregulation? JULIE BISHOP

Not at all. The Coalition is firm on this position that we’ve taken in the Party room after a great deal of deliberation. Indeed, my colleagues have been very supportive of me in terms of our position because it’s in the interest of all wheat growers across Australia. We want to ensure that there is deregulation in an environment where wheat growers can be assured of access to ports, their cargo integrity is maintained and that stock information is shared amongst all wheat growers and not just held in the hands of the bulk handlers. There’s an agreed position on this and I’ve received a great deal of support from my colleagues. QUESTION Does the Coalition, under any circumstances, accept a vote from Craig Thomson? JULIE BISHOP The Government maintains that it will accept Craig Thomson’s vote every time he makes a vote. We made it clear that we will not accept Craig Thomson’s vote and we’ve gone out of our way to ensure that somebody sits in the advisors box [inaudible] so that we don’t accept his vote. Craig Thomson has been found by a government agency to have misused $500 000 of low paid workers union fees, and the Government seems to think that he’s an acceptable person to vote with the Government. We don’t believe that’s the case and that’s why we have refused to accept his vote. [As to the mistake yesterday, of course we weren’t seeking Craig Thomson’s vote, and I think we’ve made that clear. Thank you.