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Thursday, 13 September 2018
Page: 51

Prime Minister


Senator MARSHALL (Victoria) (14:09): My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Cormann. When asked in April whether he was interested in being Prime Minister, then Treasurer Morrison said, 'If an opportunity presents itself.' In an article entitled 'How Morrison played everyone' The Saturday Paper reported:

The story of how he replaced Malcolm Turnbull is one of ambition, doublecrossing and outfoxing …

When did Prime Minister Morrison first decide that the opportunity had finally presented itself?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and the Public Service, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:09): This is just a demonstration of the arrogance of the Labor Party. This sort of question indicates that the Labor Party is not interested in the Australian people. The Labor Party is not interested in what is required to ensure that Australians, today and into the future, have the best possible opportunity to get ahead.

On this side of the chamber, we, the Liberal and National Party senators, are working to ensure that Australia is as strong as possible—to keep the economy strong, to keep Australians safe and to keep Australians together. Under the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Shorten—who was involved in two leadership coups himself, personally—we're having these people present themselves as holier than thou! As Mr Shorten turned on Mr Rudd, then Mr Shorten turned on Ms Gillard, of course, ably assisted by—

The PRESIDENT: Order! Senator Wong on a point of order?

Senator Wong: On a point of order: direct relevance. Perhaps the minister would like to remind us of his Turnbull-Dutton-Morrison transition? But the question is: when did the Prime Minister, Mr Morrison, first decide that the opportunity had finally presented itself?

The PRESIDENT: Order! The minister has a minute and seven remaining.

Senator CORMANN: On 24 August 2018.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Marshall, a supplementary question.







Senator MARSHALL (Victoria) (14:11): Yes, thank you. Former Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator Fierravanti-Wells, has said that Prime Minister Morrison and his supporters had been plotting for, and I quote, 'some time'. Is Senator Fierravanti-Wells right?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and the Public Service, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:11): Senator Fierravanti-Wells is a good friend and valued colleague. But let me tell you that our focus on this side of the chamber is on the Australian people. Our focus on this side of the chamber is on making sure Australia is as strong as Australia could possibly be, that we keep the economy strong, that we keep Australians safe and that we keep Australians together. We'll let Labor continue to play insider games here in Canberra; we will focus on the best interests of working families right around Australia.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Marshall, a final supplementary question.



Senator MARSHALL (Victoria) (14:12): Senator Fierravanti-Wells believes:

… it's important for all aspects and everything that happened during that week to come to the fore. I think it's important for the Australian public to know that.

When will Prime Minister Morrison stop telling Australians to 'get over it' and instead explain why Malcolm Turnbull is no longer the Prime Minister?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and the Public Service, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:12): I'm asked about what is important for the Australian people to know. Let me tell you what is important for the Australian people to know: that is, that the Australian government is working to make Australia stronger, to keep the economy strong, to create more jobs, to keep Australians safe, to keep Australians together and to ensure that Bill Shorten never becomes Prime Minister of Australia.