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Monday, 1 September 2014
Page: 9161


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:56): My question is to the Prime Minister. One year ago today, the Prime Minister promised to be a government of no excuses and no surprises. Despite being asked on four separate occasions today to say exactly when he told the Australian people about his GP tax before the election, he has refused to do so. On what date did the Prime Minister tell the Australian people before the election that he planned to slug them with the new GP tax and when will the Prime Minister of Australia give an answer, not another excuse?

The SPEAKER: It is almost a statement rather than a question but I will give the call to the Prime Minister.

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:57): The Labor Party well and truly placed on our national agenda the whole idea of a Medicare co-payment. Bob Hawke, the member for Lingiari, the member for Werriwa, the member for Jagajaga, Labor's shadow Assistant Treasurer, skulking and cowering down there on the outer front bench—

Mr Shorten: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The point of order is on relevance. I was not asking about anyone else. I was not even asking about when Arthur Phillip did it.

The SPEAKER: As I said, it was more like a statement than a question. However, the Prime Minister has the call for a very broad statement.

Mr ABBOTT: Labor's shadow Assistant Treasurer has been speaking and publishing for years on this very point—'There's a better way of operating a health system.'

Opposition members interjecting

Mr ABBOTT: You cannot disown your clear words.