PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has labelled the Greens as â€śtoxicâ€ť in his first salvo for next monthâ€™s WA senate election.
Ahead of a visit to Perth this week, Mr Abbott fired back at a vicious attack by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam in federal parliament, in which he labelled the Prime Minister as â€śhomophobicâ€ť and â€śracistâ€ť.
The Prime Minister yesterday labelled the Greens and other minor parties who were contesting the fresh election as toothless tigers, whose major contribution to the Australian Parliament was to â€śattract media attentionâ€ť.
He said Mr Ludlamâ€™s attack was water off a duckâ€™s back.
â€śI am defamed every day in parliament, and I have learnt to be fairly oblivious to it I have got to say,â€ť Mr Abbott said.
â€śI think West Australians are fairly resistant to the kinds of toxins which emanate from the Greens.â€ť
Laughing he retorted: â€śI might have to have an extra half glass of good Margaret River wine tonight to console myself.â€™â€™
WA Greens Senator launched a scathing attack on the Prime Minister during his final parliamentary speech ahead of the April 5 senate vote.
Senator Ludlam invited Mr Abbott to visit WA, but urged him to leave his â€śexcruciatingly boring three-word slogans at homeâ€ť.
The speech concludes with Senator Ludlam telling the Prime Minister to take his â€śheartless racist exploitation of peopleâ€™s fears and ram it as far from Western Australia as your taxpayer funded travel entitlements can take youâ€ť.
â€śWestern Australians are a generous and welcoming lot, but if you show up waving your homophobia in peopleâ€™s faces and start boasting about your ever more insidious attacks on the trade union movement and all working people, you can expect a very different kind of welcome.â€ť
WA will vote for six senators on April 5, after the bungled poll in September saw that result quashed.
West Australians have to go back to the polls after 1370 votes were lost.
After securing three senate positions at the September election, the Liberals are now in danger of losing one of those positions, which would make it even more difficult for Mr Abbott to pass legislation in the senate.
He currently holds 33 seats in the senate, but needs 39 to pass laws.
Mr Abbott said losing another Liberal senate position would make it more difficult to scrap the mining and carbon taxes.
â€śThe election is important because the result will make it easier or harder to get rid of anti WA taxes like the carbon or mining taxes,â€ť he said.
In a pot shot at the Greens and minor parties, Mr Abbott said: â€śAsk yourself: What do minor parties actually get done, other than make it harder for government to do its job?
â€śMinor parties are much better at attracting media attention rather than getting things done.
â€śDonâ€™t vote for a minor party and in particular donâ€™t vote for a minor party that is going to be constantly with the Opposition.
â€śThe Greens are really the second wing faction of the Labor Party â€“ thatâ€™s what they are.
â€śI think people want a strong voice in the federal parliament, rather than people who just make a noise. To do that, you need to vote for people who are part of government.â€ť
Mr Abbott said West Australians had every right to be angry about having to vote again.
â€śIt is monumental incompetence,â€™â€™ he said.
â€śI am annoyed. I think everyone is annoyed.
â€śI canâ€™t imagine they (Australian Electoral Commission) would make the same mistake twice.â€ť
Mr Abbott is expected to arrive in Perth late Monday. – news.com.au
Boy is there some strong parallels with New Zealand in that article.