Page 794 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 27 February 2013

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progressive and sustainable city. From what occurred this morning, it would appear that he has walked away from two of those three, and if the policies that he would put forward as an alternative government were implemented, I think the vibrancy of the city would be at great threat as well. So he would be three out of three. He came forward on that same day to say:

I come to the Assembly as a member of the Liberal Party and consider myself a liberal—

a small “l” liberal, I hasten to add—

by the definition of the word. I follow the ideal of Sir Robert Menzies, who said, “We took the name ‘Liberal’ because we were determined to be a progressive party, willing to make experiments, in no sense reactionary …

In no sense reactionary, willing to make experiments and taking the term “liberal” to be a progressive party! Yet what we have heard this morning is an attack on progressive politics, particularly from the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, who, I would acknowledge, has at no point in his political career ever claimed to be progressive. So I do not particularly suggest that Mr Coe has had a miraculous transformation in 1,500 days. In fact, I know he wears as a badge of honour being conservative.

But to hear Mr Hanson give the speech he has just given is quite a remarkable transformation for an individual. On one level, I can understand it, because the only way he could get to that chair, the chair he has coveted since he has been in this place, is to sell out all of those progressive principles. As he looks down the line and to those who sit behind him, he knows there are no progressives in his party. There are no liberals. The now preselected Senate candidate did his best over the weekend to eliminate the progressive rump of the Canberra Liberals and has made it very clear that—

Mr Corbell interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, be quiet.

MR BARR: He has made it very clear that the elimination of the progressive rump within the Canberra Liberals is in fact one of the most important objectives of this mob over the next four years. And yes, Gary Humphries is the first victim of that, and Mr Hanson wants to ensure that he is not a further victim of that.

Mr Hanson: On a point of order—

MADAM SPEAKER: On a point of order, Mr Hanson. Can you stop the clock, please.

Mr Hanson: I seek a ruling on referring to the opposition as a mob. I would ask for your ruling on that, that the—

MADAM SPEAKER: I think that there is precedent for ruling that—

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