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Tony Abbott calls for no 'snideness' in lead up to election

Tony Abbott reinforced his strategy to place the Coalition in voters' minds as a valid
Tony Abbott reinforced his strategy to place the Coalition in voters' minds as a valid "alternative government". Vicki Wood

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has called on Coalition MPs to be confident and optimistic, but never arrogant, in the lead-up to the Federal Election.

The joint party room meeting in Canberra today saw Mr Abbott reinforce his strategy to place the Coalition in voters' minds as a valid "alternative government".

He told the coalition troops they should avoid any "snideness" or personal attacks - just hours before his Deputy Julie Bishop was ordered out of the chamber for an aside which sent Speaker Anna Burke into a spin.

The Coalition rolled out the latest attacks on the government during Question Time.

Mr Abbott led the questions with a call on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to renew her commitment to a budget surplus.

But it wasn't long before Opposition attack dog Christopher Pyne asked new Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus whether he supported Foreign Minister Bob Carr's stance on developments in the West Bank.

Mr Pyne asked whether Mr Dreyfus believed such developments were illegal, before Speaker Anna Burke disallowed the question on the grounds it was not part of Mr Dreyfus's portfolio.

After a second attempt by Mr Pyne to get the Speaker to reconsider her position on the matter, Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop made some quiet remarks while standing near the Speaker's chair.

While the remarks were inaudible, Ms Burke, a Labor MP, promptly ordered Ms Bishop out of the chamber, with the Opposition frontbencher leaving in a dramatic manner.

Topics:  canberra coalition federal election julia gillard question time tony abbott


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