Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Statements by Members
We've all worked in this chamber on by-elections, so we know what happens the night before a by-election: you're there, ready, working for your party to be successful the next day. Those opposite have blamed the former Prime Minister, the member for Wentworth, whom they knocked off before their demise in the Wentworth by-election. But what were the Bellevue Hill branch, in the heartland of Wentworth, doing on Friday night, the night before the by-election? They had their special interest night. Tony Abbott MP, Andrew Hastie MP, Senator Jim Molan and Craig Kelly MP—a gaggle of nut jobs, a gaggle of right-wing nut jobs—
I withdraw. They were in a forum saving Australia from the Left. You can imagine what it was like: 'How can we subsidise coal some more? How can we punish asylum seekers more? How can we support more discrimination?' These are the precise policies that drove the people of Wentworth away from the Liberal Party. They were there, in the heartland of Wentworth the night before, essentially campaigning for Kerryn Phelps, because anyone who was there that night would have been driven away from the Liberal Party—the right wing of the Liberal Party, frightened of the present but terrified of the future.