House debates

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Statements by Members

Morrison Government

1:55 pm

Photo of Stephen JonesStephen Jones (Whitlam, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

There's a truism in Australian politics: if you can't manage yourself, you can't manage the country. This morning we learned that this government could do neither. Clearly this divided government can't unite itself or its own party room. It will rely on the votes of the crossbench from now until the election to get any legislation through the parliament. The Australian people know that loyalty matters and principle matters, and this Prime Minister has very little of either. He refused to intervene to save his frontbench colleague Jane Prentice when she was under threat. He could not convince the former member for Chisholm, Julia Banks, or the former member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis, to stay within the toxic culture of his party room, and they all had to leave. These women could not stand a bar of this Prime Minister. But the one person that he would intervene to save was the member for Hughes. It was more important to save this crackpot conservative, Paleo-hugging, climate-change-denying antivaxxer than it was to save any of these three excellent frontbench and backbench women. There may be a few people on the government side who are rejoicing the departure, but the people of Australia will be saying: 'What is the price that he will be paying— (Time expired)