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Thursday, 21 June 2007
Page: 83

Mr McMULLAN (2:45 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, isn’t it arrogant in the extreme to go to an election in three months time without being candid with the Australian people about your intentions for the next three years? Don’t the people have a right to know?

The SPEAKER —In calling the Prime Minister, I would point out that that is actually seeking an opinion. But the Prime Minister may choose to answer.

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —That is a very interesting switch of questions. Where is the concerted IR attack? What about broadband, IR, tax, the economy, social policy?

Mr Tanner interjecting

The SPEAKER —Order! The member Melbourne is warned!

Mr HOWARD —Can I say to the member for Fraser that, in the end, the best judges of arrogance in public life in this country are the Australian people. I am glad that those who sit opposite nod their heads in agreement, because I seem to remember that the member for Fraser and his colleagues asked me the same question in 2004 and in 2001. I gave the answer then—and it was a truthful answer—that it is an enormous privilege to be the Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia. It is surpassed by only one other privilege that is even greater than that, and that is to be Prime Minister of this magnificent country. The people who decide how long I remain in my position as Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia are my parliamentary colleagues in the Liberal Party, and those who decide how long I remain Prime Minister of this country are the people of Australia. As always, I will accept with the very best of grace whatever judgement my fellow Australians make on the contribution I can make to the future of this country.