Extreme Move By A PM Under Pressure

Prime Minister Turnbull and his Attorney-General George Brandis have gone to great lengths to present their decision today to use the Governor-General to override Parliament as a normal and unremarkable occurrence.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

EXTREME MOVE BY A PM UNDER PRESSURE 

Prime Minister Turnbull and his Attorney-General George Brandis have gone to great lengths to present their decision today to use the Governor-General to override Parliament as a normal and unremarkable occurrence.

It is anything but.  The fact that Mr Turnbull has resorted to such extreme measures shows how panicked he and his government is.

Since 1961 Parliament has only been prorogued four times under extraordinary circumstances, and never to set the scene for an election.

  • In 1968, Parliament was prorogued for the death of Harold Holt

  • In 1970, Parliament was prorogued because Prime Minister John Gorton did not have his government’s program fully prepared for the first sitting after the 1969 election

  • In 1974 and 1977 Parliament was prorogued to allow Queen Elizabeth to open the new sessions.

There is no example in modern times of a Government proroguing Parliament to obtain political advantage or, as here, to override sitting scheduling decisions already taken by the Senate.

Mr Turnbull has made this extraordinary and tricky move because he is under pressure from an insurgent Liberal Party right wing. It’s certainly not the calm and considered style of leadership that Australia was promised when he toppled Tony Abbott.

Why does this Prime Minister find it necessary to subvert the normal operations of Parliament to give him better chances at an election? Because he’s scared of losing if he doesn’t.

This Prime Minister will do anything for his own advantage. He is clearly desperate for an early election. Labor is ready and waiting.

MONDAY, MARCH 21 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: JOANNA HEATH 0427 915 633