Monday, 18 February 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm that: on Tuesday his government knew there would be a vote on a disability royal commission; on Wednesday he had the exact words to the motion; and on Thursday he directed senators to vote against it and then held the longest question time in history to avoid a vote? Why was the Prime Minister so desperate to block a disability royal commission if he never really opposed one?
That was a fairly wide-ranging question. Let me deal specifically with the matters on Thursday—I thought you set them out very clearly on Thursday, Mr Speaker, as Speaker of the House. I was absolutely aware on Thursday, during question time, that that matter was not coming back to the House; it was not coming back to the House on Thursday. There was no opportunity for that matter to be considered on Thursday, so the suggestion by the Labor Party, once again seeking to play partisan politics with people with disabilities, is to assert something that is simply not true. Had that matter been coming back to this House on Thursday, it would have passed through this House, as, indeed, it will pass this afternoon.
But, while we're on the topic of what people do in the Senate, what I know is what the Labor Party senators members did in the Senate last December when they voted for the original Labor bill on border protection—the original one, Mr Speaker—without getting any advice from security agencies. They may have ignored it when it came to this chamber, Mr Speaker, but there was reckless disregard for the nation's security and border protection when this Leader of the Opposition was happy to trash our borders in the Senate. And they would have voted for the bill in its original form in this House in December. You cannot trust Labor on our borders.