A senior opposition frontbencher has made a bizarre claim on national television that the Coalition “does not have policies” in an attempt to dodge a question about petrol prices.
Pressed by Insiders host David Speers about where the Coalition stood on the fuel excise – a policy the former government introduced in April which will end on Wednesday – Shadow Finance Minister Jane Hume failed to provide a straight answer.
Asked where the opposition stood on the policy, Senator Hume instead opted to dance around the question by saying it was up to Labor to make the policy decision.
“We don’t have policies, we are in opposition, not in government,” she said.
Speers pushed back, telling Senator Hume the opposition did in fact have policies, namely on the aged care pension.
Senator Hume maintained it was not on the opposition to make decisions about policy and refused to be drawn on whether she wanted to excise cut to be extended.
“Our policy (when we were in government) was a temporary cost-of-living pressure for the fuel excise – that is going ahead,” Senator Hume said.
“It’s up to Labor to make its decision (now).”
The former government introduced the fuel excise cut earlier this year, reducing petrol prices by more than 20c after the war in Ukraine drove global petrol prices to record highs.
The excise cut will end this week after six months, with the government confirming there will be other cost-of-living measures introduced to the budget, to be handed down next month.
Senator Hume also welcomed that parliament will return to normal processes this week after a two-week mourning period following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The government is likely to introduce its federal ICAC legislation either late on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Senator Hume said the opposition was waiting to see the fine details of Labor’s legislation, but would support anything that would “stamp out corruption in public life”.
“We’ve always said we support the introduction of a federal ICAC. This is really important legislation to get right, because if you get it wrong, it has dire consequences,” Senator Hume said.
She said she was concerned the legislation could result in public hearings becoming weaponised.
Fuel excise explainer