A crossbench senator says halting Parliament for a day to pay tribute to former prime minister Malcolm Fraser is a waste of time.
Question time and other parliamentary business has been cancelled in the House of Representatives and the Senate on Monday to give MPs an opportunity to make a speech about Mr Fraser, who died on Friday after a short illness. The former Liberal Party leader was 84.
"We have an awful lot of work to do and we lose a whole day for condolence motions? It might be OK to stop for a few hours but losing a whole day I think is over the top," Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm told Fairfax Media. "I hope Hawkey doesn't die, otherwise we'll never get any work done."
The NSW libertarian senator said most Australians would agree with his view that the tributes were a waste of time. He said voters expected parliamentarians to be working, "not slacking".
Senator Leyonhjelm also doubted many MPs would even want to give a speech about Mr Fraser and said he would not be adding his voice to the tributes. "He was a right-wing extremist when I first knew him and he was a left-wing extremist when he died," Senator Leyonhjelm said.
"And my mum said, 'If you can't say anything good about someone, don't say anything at all.' " …