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Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Page: 1096

National Security

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:26): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the recent stream of leaks against the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm that the Attorney-General warned the Prime Minister that the Prime Minister's partisan approach was 'playing with fire' on important national security matters? Can the Prime Minister also confirm that this is yet another leak from his dysfunctional cabinet?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:26): I seem to recall that on numerous occasions in this parliament I have paid tribute to the Leader of the Opposition for being bipartisan!

Mr Shorten: Thank you!

Mr ABBOTT: 'Thank you,' he says! Well, obviously by virtue of asking this question he does not want bipartisanship on national security matters! Really and truly! I have gone out of my way. This government has gone out of its way to include the opposition with the briefings on national security matters and with briefings on Australian Defence Force matters.

Mr Husic interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Chifley!

Mr ABBOTT: We have gone out of our way to include the opposition in this. We really have, because I know that members opposite do not want to be irresponsible on this. I have always believed that if there is one subject on which members of the Labor Party wanted to the patriots, it was national security.

To his credit, I think the Leader of the Opposition—

Mr Husic interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Chifley is warned!

Mr ABBOTT: does want to be an Australian first and a party politician second when it comes to national security, but not today. Not this day! Not this day does he want to be worthy of the alternative Prime Ministership of his country.

I will continue to look for as much bipartisanship as possible with members opposite. But if they are going to play politics with it they will rightly forfeit the trust and respect of the Australian people.

Dr Chalmers interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Rankin is warned!