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Thursday, 5 February 2009
Page: 585

Mr TURNBULL (Leader of the Opposition) (2:37 PM) —My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to his recent statement regarding his $42 billion spending package, where he said, ‘We all must rise to this national challenge.’ I ask the Prime Minister why he himself was not able to rise this morning to vote for it?

Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) —When it comes to leadership from the Australian Liberal Party, it seems we must turn to the Liberal leader of Western Australia alone, who, today, with every Premier in the country and the chief ministers of the two territories, agreed to a new national plan to implement this national stimulus package and, furthermore, decided to pitch in and do their bit to support this economy, families and jobs, given the global economic recession which is unfolding.

I would say this to the Leader of the Opposition: that is what leadership is about. And I would draw the honourable gentleman’s attention to the following: that on votes relating to legislation, which occurred on 116 occasions during the last term of the Howard government, the then Prime Minister, Mr Howard, was absent on 110 occasions.