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Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Page: 26

Liberal Party Leadership


Senator CHISHOLM (Queensland) (14:04): My question is to Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator Fifield. On Thursday, 23 August, the day before Malcolm Turnbull was sacked by his own party room, Minister Fifield announced that it had:

… become apparent … that a majority of party room colleagues believed that there should be a transition.

Rather than explain how Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was sacked, can the minister explain why Malcolm Turnbull is no longer the Prime Minister of Australia?


Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Minister for Communications and the Arts) (14:05): Under the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy, the leader of the governing party is the Prime Minister of the government of the day. As colleagues are aware, the members and senators of the Liberal party room made a collective decision in relation to the leadership of the party.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Chisholm, a supplementary question?



Senator CHISHOLM (Queensland) (14:05): Last night, when asked whether she had any idea why the Liberals sacked Malcolm Turnbull, the Deputy Leader of the Nationals, Senator McKenzie said, 'No'. Given that the Deputy Leader of the Nationals is in the dark, will the minister now enlighten her and all Australians as to why he withdrew his support for Malcolm Turnbull?


Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Minister for Communications and the Arts) (14:06): The parliamentary Liberal Party and the parliamentary National Party are two separate parties who are in coalition together in government, and I—

Opposition senators interjecting

Senator FIFIELD: Let me continue through the interjections opposite! I outlined my position clearly in the week where the Liberal party room made its decision in terms of the Liberal leadership.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Chisholm, a final supplementary question?




Senator CHISHOLM (Queensland) (14:06): When asked why Australia needed a new Prime Minister, the Leader of the House, Minister Pyne, said, 'The question you ask is a good one. It's yet to be answered by those people who felt there needed to be a change in the leadership.' As one of those responsible for sacking former Prime Minister Turnbull, will the minister tell Australians why we have a new Prime Minister?


Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Minister for Communications and the Arts) (14:07): As I've already indicated, decisions in relation to the leadership of the parliamentary Liberal Party are made collectively by the members and senators of the Liberal party room.