McCormack sarcastically suggests sending mice to the inner cities in attack on PETA

Michael McCormack has sarcastically suggested mice be sent to the inner cities to “scratch their children at night” as he took aim at PETA for criticising the poisoning of rodents during the ongoing plague.

In a raucous Question Time on Wednesday which saw three Labor MPs ejected, including one during the first answer, the opposition targeted the acting prime minister over Australia’s sluggish vaccine rollout.

But it was a question from frontbencher Julie Collins on the mouse plague ravaging regional NSW and Queensland which prompted an angry response from Mr McCormack.

“It is incredibly disappointing to hear the Commonwealth admit they have no national response and throw their hands up as our regions face this problem. Why is the Morrison-McCormack government abandoning farmers when they need them the most?” she asked.

McCormack sarcastically suggests sending mice to the inner cities in attack on PETA

Camera IconMichael McCormack has sarcastically suggested mice be sent to the inner cities to ‘scratch their children at night’. Martin Ollman / NCA NewsWire Credit: News Corp Australia

McCormack sarcastically suggests sending mice to the inner cities in attack on PETA

Camera IconA devastating mouse plague is wreaking havoc across regional NSW and Queensland. iStock Credit: istock

“I live in a community where they are being ravaged as well by mice. There is nothing worse than the stench of mice, nothing worse than having mice eat your grain, mice running around your house, farm and factory,” he replied.

The acting prime minister then took aim at PETA for criticising “inhumane” extermination practices, including mass poisonings, by farmers as they battled the mice plague.

“I didn’t hear the Member for Melbourne (Adam Bandt) disendorsing them, saying the poor little curious creatures, the mice, should be rehomed,” he said.

“I agree they should be rehomed, into their inner-city apartments so they can nibble away at their food and their feet at night, and scratch their children at night.

“This is a disgrace by PETA.”

McCormack sarcastically suggests sending mice to the inner cities in attack on PETA

Camera IconTreasurer Josh Frydenberg withdrew a comment dismissing opposite number Jim Chalmers as ‘the shadow of the Shadow Treasurer’. Martin Ollman / NCA NewsWire Credit: News Corp Australia

Australia’s new free trade agreement with the UK took up most government MPs’ questions, and was lauded by Trade Minister Dan Tehan as the “most comprehensive” signed with any country other than New Zealand.

But Speaker Tony Smith struggled to bring the opposition benches under control when Mr Tehan used a select quote from National Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson.

“We applaud Trade Minister Dan Tehan and our negotiating team on the outcomes,” he told the opposition benches as they burst into sarcastic applause.

“It was very nice of Fiona, wasn’t it? Very nice of Fiona.”

Josh Frydenberg was also forced to withdraw a comment dismissing opposite number Jim Chalmers as “the shadow of the Shadow Treasurer”, after being pressed on the May budget, which assumed monthly week-long lockdowns until the end of the year.

“Hasn’t Treasury been forced into these assumptions due to the Government’s failures on vaccines and quarantine?” he asked.

Mr Frydenberg said the unemployment rate was lower than when the Coalition took office, despite “the biggest economic shock since the Great Depression”, and the budget tipped to fall even further.

McCormack sarcastically suggests sending mice to the inner cities in attack on PETA

Camera IconChris Bowen MP holds up a solar panel during Question Time. Martin Ollman / NCA NewsWire Credit: News Corp Australia

McCormack sarcastically suggests sending mice to the inner cities in attack on PETA

Camera IconMr Bowen was channelling Scott Morrison who, as treasurer, brought a lump of coal to parliament. Credit: Supplied

“The reality is this Budget was predicated on the fact the pandemic is still with us,” he said.

“The pandemic is still with us because you failed!” Mr Chalmers interjected.

Soon after question time ended, Labor climate change spokesman Chris Bowen mimicked Prime Minister Scott Morrison in an attack on the government over clean energy policy.

As Treasurer in 2017, Mr Morrison brandished a lump of coal in parliament, telling the opposition, “This is coal; don’t be afraid, don’t be scared.”

Waving a solar panel, Mr Bowen said Australia “can do so much better” than the one solar manufacturer it currently boasted.

“This is renewable energy; don’t be afraid of it, don’t run away from it, don’t be scared of it,” he said.

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