There are reports coming out of Canberra that a number of Coalition MPs have walked out on opposition leader Bill Shorten during a speech to Parliament.
Per Fairfax, Shorten was following Tony Abbott, who had delivered a Closing The Gap address about the ongoing disadvantages facing indigenous Australians, including life expectancy, literacy and employment.
In his own address, Shorten highlighted the “shocking and shameful” domestic violence faced by many women and children in indigenous communities, and criticised the government for its cuts to legal aid and family violence shelters.
At this point, several Coalition MPs began getting up to leave.
It is understood that MPs Andrew Nikolic, from Tasmania, and Russell Broadbent, from Victoria, were among the group who left.
Per The Guardian, Broadbent has said that he walked out because Shorten had “no right” to be partisan in his address, and that he stands by his actions.
Indigenous leader Tom Calma has branded the MPs as “pathetic”.
We’ll follow this story as it develops.
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