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Let’s get real: PM tells Mitchell

by October 13, 2016 General
Australian Associated Press

Malcolm Turnbull has dismissed suggestions there is a perception of chaos surrounding his government following another blunder on the floor of parliament.

“Seriously, let’s get real,” the prime minister told Neil Mitchell on 3AW radio on Friday.

Mr Turnbull rattled off a list of gains the government achieved this week including the successful passage of legislation protecting 60,000 CFA volunteers in Victoria, tax cuts for half a million middle-income earners and a new trade deal with Singapore.

He conceded Labor had a success in parliament because “our guys weren’t paying attention and they got an amendment up which was then corrected”.

“That is one of the very few pleasures of opposition and I don’t begrudge (leader) Bill Shorten from savouring it,” Mr Turnbull said.

The prime minister was referring to a second embarrassment for the coalition on the floor of parliament in just 10 sitting days, when Revenue Minister Kelly O’Dwyer inadvertently allowed a Labor amendment critical of the government to pass without challenge.

Labor gleefully claimed it was the first time in Australian parliamentary history a government had voted against itself.

Mr Turnbull put it down to human error, rejecting calls for Ms O’Dwyer’s head.

“As one of the saints said, to err is human and so we all make mistakes,” he said.