Anthony Albanese erupted at question time after the opposition criticized him for his handling of spiraling inflation.
During question time on Monday, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton renewed his attack on the prime minister over the cost of living crisis in the wake of Australia’s support for a landmark climate fund agreed by more than 200 countries at the COP 27 summit in Egypt.
“The government has just signed on to fund a $2 trillion ‘loss and damage’ climate fund, which will send the money out and out of our region,” said Dutton.
“Prime Minister, doesn’t charity start at home? And when are you going to start helping Australian families instead of giving away their money?”
Mr. Albanese, who caught his eye when he headed for the transmission box, quickly started his counterattack.
The Prime Minister replied, “I’ll tell you what we will do — or won’t do, which is stand at a press conference with a microphone making jokes about the sinking of the Pacific Islands.”
But his microphone was soon turned off when the opposition business manager, Paul Fletcher, tried his initial response to be unparliamentary due to “offensive” language.
“Offensive?” asked Mr. Albanese.
“They are facts,” interjected Labor Chairman Ged Kearney.
Speaker Milton Dick quickly ruled the Prime Minister’s answer in order. Mr. Albanese went on to accuse Mr. Dutton of dog whistling and indicated that the scenario was either/or.
“I tell you what was offensive: It was the Tactics Committee meeting that asked that question this morning. That’s what was offensive,” he shouted again.
“The only people who are happy with that question are the people sitting in the corner over there [the teal independents]. Because they represent seats that have rejected this kind of whistling tactic from the Liberal Party.
The leader of the opposition, who pretends to want to be kinder and kinder, comes to this house and asks a question like that.
“I say to the leader of the opposition, ‘You are better than that. Or you may not be.’”
Meanwhile, in the Parliamentary version of Nosebleeds (left corner of the house), former Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his right-hand man Alex Hawke are bickering among themselves.
“Wow, just wonderful,” muttered Mr. Morrison to himself.
Originally published as Anthony Albanese raises a question for Peter Dutton