Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Page: 6798

Prime Minister


Senator CONROY (VictoriaDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:00): My question is to the minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Abetz. I refer to the refusal by the Leader of the Government in the Senate to support the new Prime Minister last night. Will he now do the honourable thing and resign, or is he waiting to be sacked?


Senator ABETZ (TasmaniaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Minister for Employment) (14:00): Unlike those on the other side, I can show my hands and they are clean. Can I also indicate that at all times I have supported the parliamentary leader as elected by my colleagues. As colleagues would know, my motto is: when you win you don't gloat, when you lose you don't moan and you get on with the task of delivering good government for the people of Australia. That is what all my colleagues are devoted to doing irrespective of the way they may have voted yesterday, because we see the overriding imperative of fixing up the economic vandalism that was bequeathed to us by the worst finance minister this country has ever had—the CFMEU operative, Senator Penny Wong.

We want to get rid of union corruption. We want to get rid of the thuggery. We want to ensure that our borders remain protected. We want to make sure that the free trade agreements are locked into place to ensure that we can get the growth that this country so desperately needs if we are to grow jobs in this country. We are absolutely united in getting rid of the red and green tape that has so strangled this country for so long. To make the assertion that I refused to endorse the new Prime Minister is simply false. He has my support as the elected Liberal leader and always has.

The PRESIDENT: Pause the clock. Senator Cameron on a point order.

Senator Cameron: I rise on a point of order. This is misleading the Senate. The minister indicated yesterday—

The PRESIDENT: That is not a point of order.

Senator Cameron: He accused his colleagues of bastardry and treachery.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Cameron, that is not a point of order. That is a debating point. Minister, have you concluded your answer? You have 17 seconds.

Senator ABETZ: I have no idea where Senator Cameron got that quote from. We know Senator Cameron has a track record of misquoting me.








Senator CONROY (VictoriaDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:03): Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Does the Prime Minister have confidence in the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Treasurer, the defence minister, the finance minister and the Minister for the Environment in his new cabinet? And do they all have confidence in him?


Senator ABETZ (TasmaniaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Minister for Employment) (14:03): The answer to all those questions is yes. As the Prime Minister has indicated, he will be making announcements for a future cabinet in due course. Can I indicate that we serve at the pleasure of the leader and we do so on a daily basis irrespective of who might be leader. We continue to serve for the benefit of the people of Australia. Whilst Senator Conroy might want to play personality games, we are getting on with the policy imperatives that this country so desperately needs. We know the legacy left to us by the Australian Labor Party, a legacy of deficit and debt that will hang around the neck of the next generation unless decisive action is taken—the sort of decisive action that has seen over $50,000 million cut from the budget. (Time expired)


Senator CONROY (VictoriaDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:04): Mr President, I ask a further supplementary question. Does the minister agree with Senator Bernardi's assessment of last night's coup, that 'This is treachery of the highest order'?


Senator ABETZ (TasmaniaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Minister for Employment) (14:04): I have long learnt not to take seriously the Labor Party quoting people. I have a very simple approach to these things: the king is dead, long live the king! The Prime Minister has our support.