SATURDAY, 13 APRIL 2019
SUBJECTS: Peter Dutton’s cowardly Twitter apology
JIM CHALMERS, SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE: A gutless and cowardly Tweet won't make up for a grubby and disgraceful slur against Australians with a disability. If Peter Dutton thinks that he can make a disgraceful slur on people with a disability go away with a Tweet that he sends while he's hiding in one of his nine houses, he's got another thing coming. This was a disgraceful and grubby attack on Ali France, but also on millions of Australians who would never use their disability as an excuse.
Peter Dutton needs to give a genuine apology, not a gutless and heartless apology or a half-apology by Tweet. He needs to front up and apologise properly. And while he's at it, the Prime Minister needs to explain and apologise for the fact that he said that Peter Dutton said nothing wrong.
Peter Dutton's gutless half-apology by Tweet does not make this issue go away for the Morrison Government. Scott Morrison said that the comments were appropriate. Peter Dutton took days before he pushed out this gutless and cowardly Tweet - this half-apology which doesn't make it up to millions of Australians who would never use their disability as an excuse for anything. It is long past time for Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison to front the cameras to explain themselves and to genuinely apologise for this disgraceful slur.
This disgraceful slur says absolutely everything about the Liberal Party. Remember, this is the guy that 40 Liberals wanted to make the Prime Minister of this nation. A guy who goes out of his way to deliberately run down and slur and criticise somebody with a disability who was involved in a car accident all those years ago.
Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton: stop hiding behind Twitter on a Saturday afternoon. Do the right thing for once. Come out and genuinely apologise to Australians with a disability. Stop taking the gutless coward's path, which is to sneak out a Tweet on a Saturday afternoon and hope that nobody will notice.
The eyes of all Australians, and especially Australians with a disability, are on the Prime Minister right now. This has been a stunning failure of leadership and a grubby and disgraceful slur from Peter Dutton. It is long past time that they apologise for it genuinely and not in this half-hearted, grubby, gutless, cowardly way that Peter Dutton's gone about it today.
JOURNALIST: I think you've said everything. I don't think there's anything more.
CHALMERS: Thanks very much.