Feb 15, 2019

Transcript of Doorstop – Canberra – Friday, 15 February 2019

Subjects: Morrison Government’s inability to govern; One Nation.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: This is a Government that is incapable of governing. They can’t run the Parliament, they don’t have a positive agenda and yesterday we saw the extraordinary circumstance whereby the Government had the longest Question Time since Federation in order to stop itself from having to vote on whether there should be a Royal Commission into the treatment of people with disabilities. The extraordinary circumstance is that this is a Government that extends Question Time, the same Government that last year was cancelling Question Time and the Parliament so they could remove an elected Prime Minister in Malcolm Turnbull.

Since Malcolm Turnbull’s removal Scott Morrison has been unable to answer the very simple question of why it is that he is the Prime Minister and not Malcolm Turnbull. And this week we have seen some insight into why it is that Scott Morrison isn’t the Liberal Party’s first choice as Prime Minister. He was indeed the fourth choice after Malcolm Turnbull, Peter Dutton, Julie Bishop – then Scott Morrison. So he is the accidental Prime Minister who keeps committing accidents every day.

JOURNALIST: You’ve got this Royal Commission into disabilities potentially coming into Parliament next week. Do you think that you are going to have the numbers to get that through?

ALBANESE: I think that it will go through unanimously. What is extraordinary is the Government essentially abused the normal processes of Parliament yesterday in order to avoid a vote in which straight afterward they Said that they will vote for the resolution of the Senate when it returns to the House of Representatives next week. This is a Government that is so dysfunctional and so divided that last night they were arguing that the reason why they kept Question Time going and wanted to avoid normal parliamentary processes was because they thought some other legislation might come across from the Senate that they wanted to avoid voting on. Why didn’t they just pick up the phone to Mathias Cormann and ask what it was that the Senate had carried?

This Government is dysfunctional, is divided and is incompetent and they are incapable of governing the nation. And that is why they have stopped governing. They have stopped governing on a day-to-day basis.  All they have got now is fights with each other and a scare campaign because they don’t have a positive agenda on the economy, on education, on health, on infrastructure, on the environment. They don’t have an energy policy. Yesterday we saw them abandon their own energy policy, another one. This is a Government that are just a rabble.

JOURNALIST: The behaviour this week from Pauline Hanson and Brian Burston – does that give all politicians a bad name?

ALBANESE: Well One Nation are not the only circus in town, but what we saw yesterday was yet again another example of why voting for some of these fringe parties, you never know what you will get. What we see is that a whole range of senators who have been elected to represent various fringe parties including One Nation have left and have joined other parties or become independents. Yesterday’s behaviour is completely unacceptable. The President of the Senate took appropriate action and I am sure that the appropriate authorities will have a good look at what occurred within this building. It’s a pretty obvious case from the footage I have seen that an assault occurred and the authorities should take appropriate action. Thanks very much.