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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6582

Mr ABBOTT (Leader of the Opposition) (2:04 PM) —On indulgence, Mr Speaker, I note that the Deputy Prime Minister has become the Prime Minister, I note that the Treasurer has become the Deputy Prime Minister, and I congratulate both of them on their promotions. I understand, perhaps not as well as they do but I certainly understand, that to hold high office is a great privilege and we all understand that it must be discharged in the best interests of the Australian people.

May I offer commiserations to the member for Griffith. He was elected Prime Minister of Australia by the Australian people, and he should have been allowed to face the judgment of the Australian people. A midnight knock on the door followed by political execution is no way for the Australian Prime Minister to be treated.

I accept that there is a big challenge for all of us in this place to offer the right policies to the Australian people. The new Prime Minister has admitted that the government has lost its way, and her challenge will be to demonstrate how things will be different given that she is as committed, it seems, to the policies of the former Prime Minister as he was himself. Regardless, I think the Australian public can expect a fierce contest. It will be a tough contest—I respect the abilities of the Prime Minister—and I hope, as well as being a tough contest, it will also be a clean and fair contest.