Jun 18, 2007

Questions without Notice – Liberal Party

Questions without Notice – Liberal Party

18 June 2007

Mr ALBANESE (3.15 p.m.)—My question is to the Prime Minister.

Government members interjecting—

Mr ALBANESE—Standing order 62, Mr Speaker.

The SPEAKER—The Manger of Opposition Business will come to his question.

Mr ALBANESE—My question is to the Prime Minister.

Government members interjecting—

Mr ALBANESE—Mr Speaker!

The SPEAKER—The Manager of Opposition Business will come to his question.

Mr ALBANESE—Does the Prime Minister recall the Treasurer saying on 21 March 2007 in relation to Liberal Party preselections:

The Liberal Party will not endorse anybody who has a controversial record in relation to slurs or allegations and I am sure that when the Liberal Party deals with this matter it will deal with it taking all of those matters into account.

Mrs Bronwyn Bishop—Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The question is in breach of the standing orders. It does not relate to the responsibilities of the Prime Minister in any of the items set out in the standing orders.

The SPEAKER—The Manager of Opposition Business has not completed his question. I call the Manager of Opposition Business. I will listen closely to the question.

Mr ALBANESE—Given that the former Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party, John Brogden, has directly blamed Alex Hawke for spreading slurs and allegations about him, does the Prime Minister think that Alex Hawke is a suitable candidate for the Liberal Party?

The SPEAKER—That question is not within his responsibilities, but if the Prime Minister chooses to answer the question he may.

Mr HOWARD—I choose to. I want to do two things. First of all, her interjection reminds me to congratulate the member for Mackellar on being re-endorsed by the good folk of Mackellar. I completely support the decision of the Liberal Party preselection committee in Mitchell. I uphold the due processes of my party. The Treasurer and I were exercising the due processes of our party in its Victorian division manifestation when we made the comments that we did before the matter was dealt with by the administrative committee. I take this opportunity—which I have availed myself of in relation to this question—to place on record my very deep affection for and gratitude to the member for Mitchell, Alan Cadman, and for the wonderful job—

Mr Brendan O’Connor interjecting—

The SPEAKER—The member for Gorton is warned!

Mr HOWARD—that he has done representing the people of Mitchell since that very rainy day on 18 May 1974 when both of us were elected to the national parliament. Alan has been a wonderful servant of the party and the people of Mitchell.

Mr Melham interjecting—

The SPEAKER—The member for Banks is warned!

Mr HOWARD—I will have another opportunity of thanking him, but I will thank him now seeing that I am on my feet—and I thank the member for Grayndler for giving me this unexpected opportunity; life is full of surprises, and he is one of them.

Mr Howard—Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.