House debates

Monday, 14 August 2017


Deputy Prime Minister

3:01 pm

Photo of Joel FitzgibbonJoel Fitzgibbon (Hunter, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Agriculture) Share this | Hansard source

It is. Not without cause, I have often said that the Deputy Prime Minister is all hat, no cowboy, and now we are entitled to question his right to even wear the hat. We've known of the secret coalition deal for some time, but now, after 10 years, we learn of the secret citizen. Australia currently has an illegitimate agriculture minister, an illegitimate Deputy Prime Minister, an illegitimate resources minister, an illegitimate water minister and an illegitimate minister for northern Australia—all allegedly some of the Prime Minister's key interests.

Minister Canavan must be feeling pretty sad for himself today. No doubt Minister Canavan thought he was doing a pretty good job. We had a slightly different view, but certainly Minister Canavan thought he was part of a cabinet which liked him and supported him. He is, of course, a protege of the Deputy Prime Minister. He was entitled to believe that the Deputy Prime Minister and, indeed, the Prime Minister might have stood beside him in his hour of need, but it wasn't the case—dispatched on the moment of confession. But it is a different story in the case of the Deputy Prime Minister. And why is that so? Well, there is one simple reason, called the numbers in the House of Representatives. That is the difference between Senator Canavan and the Deputy Prime Minister, who continues to sit in the House today with every intention of continuing to exercise his vote on behalf of the Australian community.

I can take up a lot of my time reflecting on the poor performance of this minister over the course of the last four years. Everywhere I travel in this country they're saying the same thing—


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