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Monday, 27 February 2012
Page: 1766

Member for Griffith

Mr PYNE (SturtManager of Opposition Business) (14:16): My question is to the Prime Minister. I remind the Prime Minister of her statement:

Kevin Rudd … always had very difficult and very chaotic work patterns.

The SPEAKER: The member will refer to the member for Griffith by his title.

Mr PYNE: Certainly, Mr Speaker. The member for Griffith:

… always had very difficult and very chaotic work patterns—

his leadership was paralysed and chaotic, and he was always looking for the next picture opportunity. Why did the Prime Minister appoint the member for Griffith as Minister for Foreign Affairs if she held that view of him?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:17): The member for Griffith has served this nation as Minister for Foreign Affairs with distinction, following many of the initiatives in foreign policy that he entered into for this nation when Prime Minister. Amongst those major achievements include the creation of the G20—because of how important it was for our nation to be at the top table when the world came together to manage the global financial crisis—and include the work he did to see the creation of the East Asia Summit, so that we have in the one body all the right players around the one table that has a broad mandate, and enables us within our region to talk about security questions, political and strategic questions, as well as economic matters. These are important developments.

Of course, as Minister for Foreign Affairs he has been advocating around the world our claim to be on the United Nations Security Council. He has also been centrally involved in events arising from what has happened in Egypt, Libya and Syria, as the world has come together both to make its voice heard on those events and to provide practical support. That answers the member's question. He has served with distinction as foreign minister. In all of that time, as he so served, of course the only thing that the opposition ever questioned him about in this parliament was when they were looking for cheap political advantage rather than engaging in the serious questions of foreign policy that are so important to our nation's future.

Mr PYNE (SturtManager of Opposition Business) (14:19): Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. If the Prime Minister thinks the minister is so good—

The SPEAKER: Order!

Mr PYNE: will she reappoint him?

The SPEAKER: The honourable for Sturt does not have the call. As I indicated, during this trial period there could be two supplementary questions. If a proposed supplementary question is ruled out of order, you do not get another shot. If this trial works, I am disposed to expanding the number of supplementary questions, but we are during the trial period.