Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has defended claims made against him over a “dismissive gesture” towards Deputy Opposition Leader Sussan Ley.
Ms Ley called out Mr Albanese for his “hypocrisy” in Parliament following the Prime Minister’s dismissive hand motion made towards her during a typical heated question time on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Albanese spoke with ABC Melbourne on Friday where he brushed off the suggestions and claimed the Opposition was itself being “completely disruptive” towards him.
“I dismiss the comments as being totally hypocritical given the yelling that occurred every time I was on my feet, including non-stop gestures, yelling for me to sit down,” he said.
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“People who ask questions should expect to hear the answer.
“The Coalition had a bad day yesterday. They continue to be completely disruptive during Question Time.”
Paul Fletcher, Manager of Opposition Business, stepped up to the dispatch box shortly after Ms Ley and demanded Mr Albanese “withdraw”.
“The Prime Minister made a dismissive gesture towards the Deputy Leader of the Opposition,” he said on Thursday.
“It was disrespectful to a sitting womanarian and (I) asked him to withdraw.”
Mr Albanese was pressed further by the ABC host on the incident where he declared, “I have been respectful and I’ll continue to be”.
“We engage respectfully across the Parliament, in order to get the legislation through including with independents and crossbench members,” he said.
“The Opposition has chosen the road of disruption. That is what they’re engaged in.
“The Opposition counted themselves out of the debate on climate change when Peter Dutton, for reasons beyond my comprehension, ignored the mandate and ignored the message that the Australian people gave that they wanted action on climate change.”
Ms Ley was questioned earlier on Friday by Sky News Australia host Peter Stefanovic about what happened where she unleased on the Prime Minister.
“I can take the rough and tumble, every woman in this place knows how to do that,” she said.
What I can’t accept is the hypocrisy.
“Anthony Albanese said it was going to be a family-friendly parliament.”
The Albanian Government is celebrating a win after its Climate Change Bill passed the lower house, but Opposition Leader Peter Dutton warned Labor’s focus away from cost-of-living proved it would take Australia down a “very dangerous path”.
The legislation will enshrine the government’s 2030 and 2050 emissions reduction targets into law and received support from a majority of the crossbench and Bridget Archer – the only Liberal member who crossed the floor.
But the Liberal Party remained staunchly opposed to the legislation which would prevent a future government ratcheting down the 43 per cent 2030 target.