Australian PM Tony Abbot gets a grilling from students on gay marriage and asylum seekers

PM asked why a man is the women’s minister

 

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Sunday 16 March 2014 16:10
Comments
Tony Abbot, Australian Prime Minister.
Tony Abbot, Australian Prime Minister.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot faced tough questioning from a group of smart high school students about the carbon tax, gay marriage, immigration policy and his women’s minister.

The year nine students from Newtown High School, on a trip to Parliament House in Canberra, gave Abbot a tough time on his policies, causing him to joke that the teenagers should appear at the next Prime Minister’s Q&A programme.

First he was grilled on not going ahead with a tax on carbon, which Abbot said would not have helped the environment, before pointedly being asked: “Why are you so against legalising gay marriage?”

Abbot said he was all in favour of having “loving, permanent relationships”, but stumbling over his answer, he replied: “I guess it’s a definitional thing”.

The student followed up to say she had a lot of gay friends and that it was “sad to think they can’t get married just because they’r e attracted to the same sex.”

to further loud cheers, Abbott replied: "I'm getting a clear message, all right. Let's have a bloke's question, okay..."

And it didn't get any easier, with the next student quizzing him on his controversial policy of turning back asylum seekers.

He said that turning the boats around, where it is safe to do so, should act as a deterrent to people trying to access the country by boat. He estimated nearly 1,000 people have drowned over the past six years in their attempts to gain asylum in Australia.

Finally, he was asked by a girl in the crowd: “Not saying that I don’t trust you or anything, but I was wondering, why is a man a minister for women? And why is a man in control of the rights for women?”

After giving an answer that only one gender can make decisions about that gender, he told the girl: “If you think that we need to have more women in decision making, you should join the liberal party and work your way up.”

The students filmed the session and one posted the full video to YouTube, saying that Abbot "avoids and waffles himself through" the questions.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in