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Monday, 10 September 2018
Page: 8379

Liberal Party Leadership

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:13): My question is to the Prime Minister. Malcolm Turnbull is no longer Prime Minister of Australia. Why?

Mr MORRISON (CookPrime Minister) (14:13): I thank the member for his question. John Howard used to say something quite simple—that is, the privilege of serving as the leader of your parliamentary party is the decision of your parliamentary party. That's what it is. That's who decides who the leader of the parliamentary party is. Just as it is true that caucus members of the Labor Party decide who the leader of the Labor Party is, on this side of the House, the parliamentary party has made its decision.

I recall many years ago being at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and listening to a presentation from Norman Schwarzkopf, and he said:

When placed in command, take charge.

That's what I propose to do, to take charge to ensure that we continue the stable government that has delivered the strong economy that has seen a million people come into work since we were elected in 2013; that has seen bulk-billing rates rise to record highs under Medicare; to ensure that we're delivering record funding for schools and for hospitals; and to ensure that we're putting young people in jobs. Ninety-five thousand five hundred people got a job in 2017-18. That is the strongest jobs growth in 30 years for young people.

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will resume his seat. Members on both sides will cease interjecting. The Leader of the Opposition on a point of order.

Mr Shorten: My point of order is relevance. The Australian people deserve an answer. Why did you change the Prime Minister?

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister has the call.

Mr MORRISON: I thank the member for his interjection. He must be a little hard of hearing. His ears must be painted on. That's what we see from this Leader of the Opposition. As he roams around the country, he's doing a lot of talking and he's doing a lot of promising but he's not doing a lot of listening. I made it pretty clear: the privilege of serving as the leader of the Liberal Party is a decision of the parliamentary party, and they have made their decision. I have accepted their decision and, more than that, I have decided to take charge of that situation and deliver the strong economic growth, the even stronger Australia that we've been delivering now for five years. That is three simple points: keeping our economy strong, keeping Australians safe and keeping Australians together. That's my plan, and Australian will be backing it.

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Members cease interjecting. I'm just going to make very clear—I realise members are in a mood to interject, but I will not incessantly warn members. I will simply eject those who are regular offenders.