House debates

Wednesday, 29 February 2012


Gillard Government

2:46 pm

Photo of Tony AbbottTony Abbott (Warringah, Liberal Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | Hansard source

I move:

That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the Member for Warringah from moving immediately:

That this House calls on the Prime Minister to explain the circumstances surrounding the offer of the foreign ministership to Bob Carr and its subsequent withdrawal at the insistence of the faceless men. Further, to explain all the issues of loss of trust now besetting her government.

In trying and failing to have Bob Carr made the next foreign minister of Australia, the Prime Minister has been bullied, beaten and leaked against by the faceless men who are running the Labor Party and controlling this government. Nothing has changed. That is why standing orders must be suspended. In dealing with this issue in the parliament today, the Prime Minister looked like a lawyer with a bad brief: shifty, evasive and dishonest. That is why standing orders must be suspended: so that she can come into this House and, just for once, be straight with this parliament and the people of Australia.

It is very clear what happened. On Monday afternoon, the General Secretary of the New South Wales Labor Party, Sam Dastyari, put it to the Prime Minister that Bob Carr should be the next Labor senator from New South Wales. On Monday evening, the Prime Minister called Bob Carr several times to offer him the foreign ministership of Australia. If this is not right, let the Prime Minister come in and explain it. That is why standing orders must be suspended. The former Premier accepted and he booked his flight to Canberra. If nothing had happened, why would the former Premier of New South Wales book his flight to Canberra? On Tuesday morning, senior cabinet ministers told the Prime Minister that this just wasn't on. But they did not just tell the Prime Minister, they leaked to the Sydney Morning Herald. Then, having bullied and leaked, they successfully intimidated the Prime Minister into withdrawing the offer. The final act in this sorry story: Sam Dastyari called Bob Carr to say that the Senate spot would go to someone else after all.


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