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Thursday, 22 March 2012
Page: 4018

Mr PYNE (SturtManager of Opposition Business) (14:57): I second the motion. To remind the House, the motion is that the standing orders be suspended so that the following motion can be passed:

That this House calls on the Prime Minister to apologise because in breaking her promise not to introduce a carbon tax she is compounding the world’s highest electricity prices with the world’s biggest carbon tax.

It is important that standing and sessional orders be suspended because the most central promise that the Prime Minister made in the last election was, 'There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.' Then, within weeks of the election—not months, not years, but weeks—she broke that promise. For that reason she must apologise. She said one thing to get elected, to fool the Australian people, and she chose to do the opposite to save her political skin.

This Prime Minister's epitaph will be, 'Here lies Julia Gillard, lying to the end.' Or: 'Here lies Julia Gillard. She chose to mislead when the truth would do.'

Mr Melham: I rise on a point of order. The member should be required to withdraw in relation to those matters. He is using a mechanism to undermine the existing standing orders, to disparage a member of this House, the current Prime Minister. It is unparliamentary.

The SPEAKER: Order! We are debating a motion to suspend standing and sessional orders. The comments made were inappropriate. The honourable member will withdraw.

Mr PYNE: Mr Speaker, I withdraw any imputation from the word I used, but I was not using it in the way that has been suggested by the member. But I withdraw.

The SPEAKER: The honourable member will withdraw unreservedly.

Mr PYNE: I withdraw unreservedly, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, do you know what the Prime Minister also had the gall to say before the last election? She said 'The Labor Party is the party of truth telling.' We go out into the electorate and make promises. Do you know what we would do in government? We would keep them. We gave our word to the Australian people in the election—and this is a government that prides itself on delivering election promises.

The SPEAKER: Order! The Manager of Opposition Business will return to the substance of the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr PYNE: Exactly, Mr Speaker, and that is why standing orders must be suspended, to allow the Prime Minister to apologise to the House for making these promises before the last election and then breaking them when she got elected. In fact, she not only broke them but trumpets them as great successes. She told the press gallery on Tuesday that they had said she would never get a carbon tax in, but she had done it. She now wants to be congratulated for breaking these promises. She wants to wear them as a wreath of victory, as a wreath of success. She mocks the Australian people by saying things before the election, fooling them into voting for her, because nobody believes she would be in The Lodge today if she had told the truth before the election. She now mocks the Australian people by expecting to be congratulated, by being triumphed through the streets of Canberra for breaking this promise and introducing a carbon tax.

The SPEAKER: Order! The Manager of Opposition Business will withdraw his accusation of untruthfulness.

Mr PYNE: I withdraw, Mr Speaker. I am sure the Australian people think this Prime Minister tells the truth on a daily basis. What concerns me and why the suspension of standing orders should be carried is how can the Prime Minister simply disown her words? How can she calmly and so ruthlessly and without any regret simply refuse to accept the statement that she made before the election and that she has broken? When her own unambiguous words are put to her, she personally denigrates the questioner. That is why the Australian people have no faith in this Prime Minister. It no longer matters what this Prime Minister says—

The SPEAKER: The Manager of Opposition Business will return to the substance of the motion to suspend standing orders.

Mr PYNE: Mr Speaker, standing orders must be suspended, because the Prime Minister should apologise. We now have a situation in this country where, whatever the Prime Minister says, whatever she tells the Australian people, they simply do not believe her. She has no credibility—she has betrayed the trust of the Australian people and, on Saturday, the verdict the Queensland people will deliver will be a verdict on this Prime Minister and this carbon tax. (Time expired)