Parliamentary speeches

The PM needs to take responsibility

August 24, 2020

Australians right now deserve political leadership that is consistent and which demonstrates a determination to take responsibility, a determination to rebuild trust in the capacity of this place to make a difference through this crisis. They deserve this from the top down. But our Prime Minister seems allergic to taking responsibility. The buck always stops with somebody else. We remember that he is of course the bloke who, in the last crisis, said, 'I don't hold a hose.' Last week we saw more of this in aged care, in the course of a tragedy impacting Melbourne and Victoria—his desperate efforts to dissemble in the face of the fact that this is a core area of Commonwealth responsibility. Australians, including those who have lost loved ones, deserve for him to step up to the plate and take responsibility.

Then of course we had the reports last night on 60 Minutes and today in The Age. We remember his response when similar allegations were raised against the Labor Party. We remember his smirk when he called on the Leader of the Labor Party to take responsibility. And of course the Leader of the Labor Party did just that: he took responsibility, he took decisive action, to clean up our approach to politics, to restore faith in political institutions—whereas what does our Prime Minister say? 'This is an organisational matter for the Victorian division of the party.' He is allergic to responsibility