Prime Minister Scott Morrison – responding to questions by Tanya Plibersek on the topic of Australia moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

photo of Scott Morrison MP
October 25, 2018

But what I would make very clear is that the government has not made a decision in relation to the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The government has not made a decision on that.

Full speech

Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:23): My question is to the Prime Minister and it relates to his embassy announcement. Can he confirm there was no cabinet coordination process, the Foreign Minister wasn’t told until 48 hours before, the acting Chief of the ADF—

Government members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Deputy Leader of the Opposition will pause for a second. Members on my right are preventing me from hearing the question. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition will begin her question again.

Ms PLIBERSEK: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question is to the Prime Minister and it relates to his embassy announcement. Can he confirm there was no cabinet coordination process, the foreign minister wasn’t told until 48 hours before, the acting Chief of the ADF found out about it after the media, and confidential messages with Indonesia and ASIO briefings were leaked? If this is what we get from the muppet show during a by-election, what sort of chaotic, divided and unstable performance is this government planning for the general election?

Mr MORRISON (CookPrime Minister) (14:24): Cabinet processes I wouldn’t go into in a public forum such as this. But what I would make very clear is that the government has not made a decision in relation to the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The government has not made a decision on that. What I simply said was that I was persuaded by the arguments that were made by the former ambassador to Israel from Australia, Dave Sharma, about the case he was putting forward and that we would be posing that question and that we would be consulting on that question with a view, down the track, to making a decision. And we will follow the full process that would be necessary to go through to come to a decision on that matter. The opposition doesn’t seem to understand the difference between a decision of a government and a question that is being posed. That is the clear distinction that has been made.

The Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition raise questions in relation to what can be expected in the future. I can tell you what can be expected in the future if the Labor leader becomes the Prime Minister of this country: $200 billion of reckless taxes on the Australian economy. He won’t stand up to big electricity companies. He won’t take a big stick to electricity companies to ensure that customers get the right deal from electricity companies. He won’t do that, but he will take a big stick to the house prices of Australians.

We’ve had 100,000 young homebuyers and other homebuyers get back into the market in the last year, the best result we’ve seen in eight years. What he wants to do to every single one of those is take a big stick to their house prices with the reckless tax that he wants to impose by abolishing negative gearing as we know it and increasing capital gains tax by 50 per cent. The Labor Party have form on reckless taxes, and they can impose them at the worst possible time—if there’s ever a good time.

Ms Ryan interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Lalor is warned.

Mr MORRISON: But it was the member for Lilley, when he was Treasurer, who decided it was a cracking idea to apply a mining tax just as the mining industry was turning and to accelerate it and accelerate its decline. And now the Labor Party think it’s a cracking idea to attack homeowners by applying a big fat tax on housing as the housing market has softened.

What you can expect from the Labor Party in the future, if they were to occupy these benches, is a tax on homeowners, with higher taxes; a tax on retirees, with higher taxes; a tax on wage earners, with higher and reckless taxes on them—a tax on retirees who had the simple strategy of owning Australian shares so they would live off the dividend imputation credits, which they are entitled to, because Australians shouldn’t have to pay tax twice.

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