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Tasmania’s parliamentary speaker has given a scathing critique of the three Tasmanian Liberal senators who she said were party to the “vicious, vindictive and vengeful” events that culminated in the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull, reserving special barbs for her long-time sparring partner Senator Eric Abetz.
Sue Hickey, the former lord mayor of Hobart who stood as a Liberal and won at the March 3 state election, said her federal colleagues had engaged in “sabotage”.
Ms Hickey, who outraged her party colleagues when she blindsided Liberal veteran Rene Hidding to snatch the role of Speaker of the Parliament , unleashed after Tasmanian Liberal senators Eric Abetz and Jonathan Duniam commented that the installation of Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg would bring “unity and stability”.
She included Tasmanian federal Liberal Senator David Bushby in her spray, for his role in what she described as the “appalling” events of the week, which resulted in the abandoning of question time due to Liberal chaos.
Sue Hickey has described herself as a “classic, small-L liberal”.
“As such, I found the events of the last few days to be vicious, vindictive and vengeful,” she said on Saturday.
“It’s more appalling that three of our own senators were involved in this sabotage,” she said.
“I have never really been a great supporter of Eric Abetz and I think this time he’s outdone himself.
“He needs to remember that he represents the whole of the Tasmanian demographic, not just the hard right … “
Senator Abetz has been contacted for comment.
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