Page 1403 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 6 May 2008

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the committee for three months.” What is Mrs Dunne doing here? She is saying: “Look, I signed off on this report. This report is supported by the Liberal Party, but I’m going to stand here today and make a public statement that this report does not have my support, despite the fact that I’ve signed off on it.” She then says, “But I’ve only been a member of this particular committee for a couple of months, so you can’t point the finger at me because I haven’t had time to actually involve myself as deeply as I might.”

One then thinks: “Well, who was Mrs Dunne’s predecessor on this committee?” Why would she be pointing the finger at her Liberal predecessor and saying, “Well, it’s quite obvious that my predecessor just wasn’t up to the job, just paid no attention and wasn’t interested in the particular committee; didn’t put in any effort.” We then ask: “Who was the predecessor?” “Oh, it’s Mr Seselja.”

So here we have it again. It has been a feature of their 3½ years in opposition, of course, that as soon as somebody is elevated to the leadership they get knocked off—three leaders and four deputy leaders in three years, and always by continual and constant backbiting and undermining. We have it here again today. We know Mr Seselja is not in Mrs Dunne’s camp. Mrs Dunne was actually the loyal acolyte and disciple of Mr Mulcahy before the forces had him expelled from the party. We see here again today the chip, chip, chip away, the backbiting, the stabbing. Mrs Dunne is in the Mulcahy camp. Mr Mulcahy, of course, is temporarily repositioned within the place, so Mrs Dunne is there scoring the points, paying back and undermining. We have here today a report which was authored by the Liberal Party, as much as by the Labor Party, members of the committee—signed off by the Liberal Party.

I have never heard or seen anything as remarkable as this. The Liberal Party sign off on a report and endorse it. It is their report; it is a majority report. There is not a single dissenting statement or comment in the report from the Liberal Party member. It is fully supported and endorsed by the Liberal Party today. Then, for some apparent political purpose, the current Liberal Party member stands up and says: “Look, this is a dreadful report, a dreadful committee. The Liberal Party are part of it, of course, but it really is hopeless.”

It is quite remarkable that Mrs Dunne would condemn herself as essentially being incompetent, while in the same breath she says, “Well, of course, I haven’t been a member for very long, but my leader, Mr Seselja, was a member for years before me.” Of course, we all know how lazy he is: the scarlet pimpernel, the invisible man—the person we never see.

Mr Seselja: That argument is working well for you, Jon!

MR STANHOPE: It will, mate. Have you got your recognition rate into double figures yet, mate? How is the advertising campaign going?

Mr Seselja: It’s going very well. I’m getting great feedback from the Labor Party—

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Seselja!

MR STANHOPE: Have you got your recognition rate up above nine per cent?

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