If anyone’s been wondering what Tony Abbott’s been up to lately, we need wonder no more.
Apparently the Liberal party backbencher has been lapping up the privileges of the Parliamentary dining room and getting stuck into their top shelf tax-payer funded wine cellar.
During what must be one of the year’s most important parliamentary votes – the $42 billion stimulus package, the Member for Warringah Tony Abbott, known for his fanatical outspoken religious views, was enjoying a few too many ‘communion wines’ with recent religious convert Peter Costello joined with Kevin Andrews and Peter Dutton where “numerous” bottles of wine were consumed.
In a report published in The Sunday Telegraph, Treasurer Wayne Swan, in the midst of a speech on the Government’s response to the global economic crisis, noted the absence of high-profile Liberal MPs.
“The Member for Higgins (Mr Costello), as this vital debate in the history of the country is going on, is currently in the dining room,” he said at 10.10pm.
“He is currently in the dining room with the Member for Menzies (Mr Andrews). He is currently in the dining room with the Member for Warringah (Mr Abbott).
“That is what they think about the strategy … those on that side of the house.”
Later that evening, Mr Costello, Mr Dutton and Mr Andrews returned to the chamber to vote on other matters.
However Mr Abbott was still nowhere to be seen. Hansard records show he missed five votes that evening.
The Warringah MP was asleep in his office.
Mr Abbott told The Sunday Telegraph the group had consumed a couple of bottles of wine, but denied he had fallen asleep as a result of heavy drinking.
Mr Abbott confessed that he had fallen asleep due to ‘exhaustion.’
“I don’t get a lot of sleep in Canberra. By the time you get to bed, it’s usually after 11 and I usually get up at five or earlier,” he said.
“If you start off the week tired, it’s very hard to catch up” he said.
True to the entrenched Liberal Party “born to rule” mentality, when asked whether he was drunk, Mr Abbott said:
“That is an impertinent question. I had dinner with the gentlemen you mentioned, there’s no doubt we had a couple of bottles of wine, I wasn’t keeping count, maybe two. This is an impertinent question. I’m going to politely hang up now.”
More like inconvenient, or potentially embarrassing, however if Mr Abbott cannot recall how many bottles of wine he had consumed then I would say it’s a fair question to ask.
Surely, we as taxpayers deserve more from our parliamentarians.