Sep 13, 2007

Questions without Notice – Liberal Party: Leadership (1)

Questions without Notice – Liberal Party: Leadership (1)

13 September 2007

Mr ALBANESE (2.46 p.m.)—My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister confirm that part of the Liberal Party’s current political fix is an agreement that he make a public statement saying that, if he wins the next election, he will retire during the next term?

Mr HOWARD—In listening to this question and the last answer given by the foreign minister, I thought to myself: what is it about the member for North Sydney’s electorate? It has the Blues Point Tower on McMahon’s Point, which was the location of the infamous deal that was meant to raise half a million dollars for Gough Whitlam’s campaign from the Ba’ath Socialist Party, and it has another residence that people are very familiar with—namely, Kirribilli House. It should be remembered that in 1989 a secret deal was made—

Mr Albanese—Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. This is about this century—

The SPEAKER—The member for Grayndler will resume his seat. The Prime Minister has barely begun to answer the question. He is entirely in order. If there are frivolous points of order, I will take action.

Mr HOWARD—I am very happy to remind those who sit opposite, given the question that has been asked of me and its implications, that in 1989 a secret deal was made by my two immediate predecessors in this great office. As a result of that deal, those two men lived a lie through the whole of the 1990 election campaign. It ill behoves anybody in the Australian Labor Party to start lecturing me or the Treasurer and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party. Let me make it clear: there are no secret deals. We will not be living any lie like Bob Hawke and Paul Keating did. We will level with the Australian people, as I did last night when I made it very plain that if the people of Australia are kind enough to return me and my government at the next election—

Mr Adams interjecting—

The SPEAKER—The member for Lyons has been warned. He continues to interject. He will remove himself under standing order 94(a).

The member for Lyons then left the chamber.

Mr HOWARD—I made my position very clear last night; there are no secret deals.

Ms Vamvakinou interjecting—

The SPEAKER—The member for Calwell is warned!

Mr HOWARD—Unlike Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, John Howard and Peter Costello will not be living any lie through the next election campaign.