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Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Page: 11610

Liberal Party Leadership

Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:25): My question is to the Prime Minister. The former Liberal and now Independent member for Chisholm today confirmed the coup against Malcolm Turnbull was 'led by members of the reactionary right wing' and was supported by MPs who traded their votes for personal ambition. The member for Chisholm said:

Their actions were undeniably for themselves—for their position in the party, their power, their personal ambition—not for the Australian people …

The member for Chisholm has explained why Malcolm Turnbull is no longer Prime Minister—why won't you?

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the House, on a point of order.

Mr Pyne: The Prime Minister is not responsible for the comments of the member for Chisholm or anybody else in the House about matters that are not even part of his responsibility. He's not responsible for the remarks that she's made. It does not fit within his prime ministerial responsibilities, and therefore the question is not in order.

Mr Burke: On the point of order: the question goes to why Malcolm Turnbull is not Prime Minister of Australia. It's a reasonable question that people want to know the answer to.

Mr Littleproud interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources is not assisting at all. Quite clearly, a bit like yesterday, only the last part of the question is in order, and that's clearly in order. Normally I would agree with the Leader of the House on this matter because the statements of a private member are not the responsibility of the Prime Minister or any minister. This case is different, I believe, because there's enough of the statement quoted that relates to the change of Prime Minister and the prime ministership, and on balance I'm going to allow the question.

Mr Champion interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Wakefield will not get to hear the answer. He can leave under standing order 94(a).

The member for Wakefield then left the chamber.

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Before the Prime Minister answers, I'll give members a tip: if it's quiet, it's probably a bad idea to interject; the moment has probably passed! The Prime Minister has the call.

Mr MORRISON (CookPrime Minister) (14:28): I refer members to my earlier answers to these questions. But I know the member for Chisholm would be very proud of the following things that our government is doing: in particular, the release of the Women's Economic Security Statement, which has been announced by the minister. That has included $18 million in grants through a women's start-up fund for boosting female founders to increase entrepreneurship opportunities for women. It includes $3.6 million for the Future Female Entrepreneurs program for around 55,000 girls and young women to encourage entrepreneurism and self-employment; $1.2 million to extend the Curious Minds program and get more girls into science, technology, engineering and maths; increasing the flexibility of paid parental leave and extending access through changes to the work test, and some $32½ million in commitments from our government under our government's plans to ensure there is greater economic security for women.

We're supporting regional employers through $1½ million dollars in carer revive initiatives to support businesses to attract and retain women returning to work after a career break. We're providing scholarships to women in economics and finance through the Women's Leadership and Development Program. There is $8 million to streamline data collection for the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. There is $31.8 million for existing specialist domestic violence units and health justice partnerships. We're enabling women experiencing family and domestic violence to have early access to their superannuation to cover the significant costs of rebuilding their lives.

Ms Claydon: You can't even get women in your party room!

Mr MORRISON: I note the interjections from those opposite. If they don't support these initiatives, I'm disappointed but I would hope that they would. There is $14.9 million to 2023 to expand the Good Shepherd Microfinance No Interest Loan Scheme, to help up to 15,000 additional women experiencing family and domestic violence access finance when they need it most every year, and $50.4 million to support an additional 31,200 families to resolve family law disputes quickly through mediation.

This government is getting on with serious business. We're getting on with putting serious policies in place that address the real needs of Australians, whether they be women, whether they be young people or whether they be senior Australians who will be supported by the work we're doing in our billion dollars extra every year for aged care. There is the royal commission into aged care, which we believe will be essential to provide the platform for important reforms in our aged-care sector into the future.

Our government is focusing on the issues that Australians are concerned about: their jobs, their livelihoods, their services and the economy that delivers all of these things. The Labor Party has become so obsessed with their own political opportunities that they can only focus on the politics of Canberra. They have become so arrogant and cocky about the election— (Time expired)