Question Time Live Feb 23 2011… Open Thread
We’ll bring you updates from Question Time in Canberra today from News.com.au Political Editor Mal Farr.
The Christchurch earthquake is likely to once again dominate proceedings, you can read the latest updates along with live streaming of Sky News at news.com.au
Question Time is running late because the Prime Minister is running about five minutes late.
> Government leader in the House, Anthony Albanese, fills in with waffle about arrangements for next Wednesday, which he stretched by noting it will be his birthday.
> He finished as Gillard strode alone through the door of the Chamber, carrying an update on the Christchurch disaster which, she told Parliament, had caused 55 confirmed deaths.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the Coalition stood shoulder to shoulder with the Government on helping quake victims.
“Whatever New Zealand wants we should give. Whatever the Government does we will back,” he said
Nationals MP for Riverina Michael McCormack is tossed out for an hour by the Speaker because he twice call out loudly:“Just mail the cheque.”
He was joining in an Opposition attack on the Government over funding for the National War Memorial.
Ton Abbott used a letter from ex-General Peter Cosgrove to highlight the memorial’s financial concerns.
McCormack’s departure probably was an early warning for all from Speaker Harry Jenkins.
Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey muscled up to the slowest drawl in the west and tried to sledge the Pre Minister during a point of order.
“I’ll repeat it very slowly for the Prime Minister because she speaks very slowly,” said Hockey.
Gillard replied:” I’d rather speak slowly than be a gabbling idiot.”
How does Julia Gillard know a carbon tax is the best way to put a price on carbon, as she said after the election?
The Government hasn’t done any economic modeling on the question for three years, said Tony Abbott as he asked the question.
The Prime Minister spent her four minutes on a carbon price and said many Opposition MPs agreed. She said modeling would be done on a specific proposal.
Presumably the Labor member for Reid John Murphy meant it as a compliment when he told Julia Gillard she had delivered a “paralysing” response to Abbott. But the only clue it was meant to be flattering is that Murphy followed this with the word “excellent”.
Gillard laughed, a did most of the MPs on both sides.
However, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet’s answer to Murphy’s question did have paralysis-inducing qualities.
Treasurer Wayne Swan won’t confirm Abbott’s suggestion that petrol prices will rise by 2.5 cents a liter for every $10 of a carbon tax. He says the proposed carbon penalty is still being worked out.
The Opposition clearly wants to highlight the electricity and fuel price rises from a carbon tax, but is probably about 10 months too early.
Question Time ends with Kevin Rudd and Julie Bishop joining to condemn Gaddafy and the violent reprisals against protesters. Rudd lists even mor telephone calls he has made to international leaders. Bishop simply and elegantly identified and rejected the Libyan crackdown.
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