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Tuesday, 21 August 2018
Page: 7935

Liberal Party Leadership

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:06): My question is to the Prime Minister: Can the Prime Minister confirm that, only yesterday, he admitted that just one government member is enough to prevent the government introducing legislation into the parliament? And can he confirm today that almost half of his Liberal colleagues voted against him remaining Australia's Prime Minister? Does he recognise now that a clear majority of the members of parliament behind him and in front of him no longer want him to be Prime Minister of Australia?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:07): I thank the honourable member for his question. I see the member for Grayndler's got his hand up. He's the people's choice. Last time there was a leadership ballot in the Labor Party, he got 60 per cent of the support. The reality is that the Leader of the Opposition has failed the test of defending the interests of Australian families. He's had the opportunity to vote for lower taxes. What did he do? He wanted to vote for higher taxes.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr Keogh interjecting

Mr Hart interjecting

The SPEAKER: The members for Burt and Bass will both leave under 94(a).

The member s for Burt and Bass then left the chamber.

Mr TURNBULL: Well, there you go, Mr Speaker. Just a moment ago, he said there were all these people over there who didn't want me to be Prime Minister. Well, now there are two fewer. You see, Bill? They're whittling themselves down.

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will refer to members by their correct titles.

Mr TURNBULL: When the Leader of the Opposition had the opportunity to vote for lower taxes, he voted for higher taxes. When he's had the opportunity to support lower energy prices, he's continued to opt for higher energy prices. When he had the opportunity to support stronger economic growth, he failed to do so. Having in previous parliaments advocated lower business taxes, he now opposes any reduction in business taxes. The Leader of the Opposition has failed to deliver the fundamental point that an opposition leader should deliver, which is an alternative economic agenda. He has none. His plan is higher prices, higher taxes, lower wages and fewer jobs. That's the Labor way.