The Courier-Mail

THE FITTEST

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through and through,” Mr Sukkar said.

Mr Smith was demoted by Mr Abbott in 2013.

“In the course of your 15year parliament­ary career you have met with some disappoint­ments,” Mr Abbott said.

“It’s precisely because you have met with triumph and disaster and treated both those impostors the same that you so strongly commanded a majority inside the Liberal partyroom and why you have been elected unopposed here in this chamber,” he said.

But he also praised former speaker Bronwyn Bishop – to whom he remained strongly loyal even through the scandal over her expenses that caused her downfall.

“She has been a warrior for the causes she has believed in,” Mr Abbott said.

“Despite some admitted errors of judgment, she has served this Parliament, our country, her party, with dedication and distinctio­n for over 30 years.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten welcomed the change from Ms Bishop.

“Serving as the Speaker is a privilege not a prize, a responsibi­lity, not a reward,” Mr Shorten said.

“We welcome the Speaker’s commitment not to attend party room meetings.”

 ??  ?? AXE FALLS: New Speaker Tony Smith takes his place in the House of Representa­tives (left); PM Tony Abbott kisses Bronwyn Bishop after the vote; her reaction as she watches proceeding­s. Pictures: AAP
AXE FALLS: New Speaker Tony Smith takes his place in the House of Representa­tives (left); PM Tony Abbott kisses Bronwyn Bishop after the vote; her reaction as she watches proceeding­s. Pictures: AAP
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