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Tuesday, 22 May 2018
Page: 4137

Turnbull Government

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:55): My question is to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm that since the last election the government has gifted Senator Pauline Hanson an attempt to weaken race hate laws, a university level English citizenship test and now a secret deal so embarrassing that the government won't say it aloud? Why does Senator Pauline Hanson have more say over government policy than government backbenchers, and why won't this Prime Minister match the actions of John Howard and put One Nation last?

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Members on my left! The member for Burt! Members on my left! Before I call the Prime—

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: No, I'm not calling the Prime Minister yet. The Prime Minister can resume his seat for a second. Members on my left will cease interjecting. I remind all members who've been warned, of which I think there's only one today. Let me give a ruling I give regularly when this topic comes up. The Prime Minister will disregard the last part of the question. I've said ad nauseam that the Prime Minister is not responsible for preference decisions.

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:57): I thank the honourable member for his question. The government commends the budget to every member of the House and of the Senate, including Senator Hanson and her party. We commend it to the members opposite. It's not too late for them to see the light and recognise the importance of cutting business taxes or indeed of ensuring that personal income tax is reformed. We will continue to engage with all members to do everything we can to ensure that the budget is passed, that all of its elements are passed, and that we're able to deliver—

Mr Hart interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Bass is warned!

Mr TURNBULL: the stronger economic growth and the stronger economy that will enable us to spend more money on hospitals, more money on schools and more money on national security and will enable us to ensure that we get stronger jobs growth. All of those elements depend on the delivery of our economic plan. And, while it may suit the Leader of the Opposition to give us advice about how to engage with the Senate crossbench, I can assure him that we won't be taking his advice on that or any other matter. We'll be focusing on delivering a stronger economy and more jobs for all Australians.