Question Time Live Feb 24 2011… Open Thread
Another day in Canberra, another question time.
Catch all the action here on The Punch via Malcolm Farr, News.com.au’s National Political Editor.
News.com.au’s in-depth and up-to-date coverage of Christchurch in the wake of the earthquake can be found here.
Tony Abbott tells Question Time only one out of 150 MPs in the House was elected with a policy of a carbon tax. Julia Gillard agrees, pointing to Malcolm Turnbull.
But Abbott was actually referring to the Greens MP Adam Bandt. He was blasting Gillard for back-flipping on a promise just after the election that she would not support a carbon tax. Her broad mechanism released today does just that.
Gillard said Abbott was there simply to “wreck, stop and destroy’‘
It’s a carbon kind of day and the sledging is heating up the globe.
“There’s a man of conviction,’’ said Julia Gillard of Joe Hockey after he asked a question on her emissions penalty scheme.
Liberal Christopher Pyne asked Gillard to withdraw because she was the one breaking a promise on a carbon tax.
The Prime Minister said no prices were announced today so any attempt by the Opposition to talk of rising household expenses was merely a bid to scare voters.
Bronwyn Bishop rises for a point of order which is actually a very strained sledge of Gillard’s lack of convictions. Speaker Harry Jenkins only saw the deception of Bishop pretending to have a point of order when it wasn’t, and turfed her from the Chamber for an hour.
Gillard left standing to attack Abbott for “having every position on the issue a human could possibly..”
She repeats her lines about times of change, such as the industrial revolution and the new technologies which made Bill Gates a billionaire. Climate change is that same type of shift, she says..
The Speaker has been keeping an eye on the women MPs and now has punted West Australian Liberal Nola Marino for an hour.
But all comes to a halt when Tony Abbott interrupted Question Time to move a censure motion against Gillard for misleading voters on a carbon tax. He also wants to condemn the Prime Minister for adding to household expenses and adding to the budgets of pensioners.
It probably will not succeed. Independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott stood alongside Gillard today as she announced her carbon pricing structure. Greens Adam Bandt will back her, and independent Andrew Wilkie probably the same.
But it gives Abbott plenty of scope to compare Gillard’s words on a carbon tax with her insistence that she would honour all her promises.
“Was it real Julia or fake Julia? Nothing is more fake than making a promise to the Australian people before the election and breaking it,’’ he said of the woman he increasingly calls “a latter-day Lady Macbeth’’.
Gillard’s turn and just as Abbott’s speech was largely about her, she could barely get off the topic of Tony Abbott.
She accuses Abbott of hysteria, hollowness and bitterness. Most MPs come to Parliament to create something. The Leader of the Opposition was the only man she had met who came to the Australian Parliament to be able to say, “I stopped this, I destroyed that’’.
The Prime Minister accuses Abbott of wanting to strand Australia on the sideline as the rest of the world produced clean energy economies.
Australian governments had made big changes even when there were “hysterical campaigns against them’’.
Liberal environment spokesman Greg Hunt is a bright, well-briefed chap but after the head butting of the two leaders his contribution to the censure motion seems flat. It’s more like a tutorial than the slashing of a political figure. There is no second speaker from the Government.
The vote on whether Standing Orders should be suspended to have the debate on the censure motion against Gillard is lost 67 to 73, which is something of a belting in these minority government times.
QT to continue, along with the hostility.
OK, the logical next step from a carbon debate is a debate about multiculturalism, right? Only if you are Julia Gillard.
Having accused Tony Abbott of attempting to raise a scare campaign about the fight against global warning, the Prime Minister does her best to get a Liberal race discrimination scare going.
It is aimed to intensify any divisions within the Coalition over immigration policy in general, and the issue of Moslem immigrants in particular.
And with that, Gillard ends QT for the week.
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…