Independent Senator David Leyonhjelm says he will not pay tribute to late prime minister Malcolm Fraser on Monday because he has nothing nice to say about him.
Speaking to reporters on Monday morning, Mr Leyonhjelm, a Liberal Democrat, said he was annoyed parliament had been suspended because of Mr Fraser’s death.
“I hope Bob Hawke doesn’t die soon, otherwise we’ll never get any work done,” Mr Leyonhjelm said in Canberra.
The death of Mr Fraser on Friday, aged 84, follows the passing of predecessor Gough Whitlam, who died aged 98 in October.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott will lead the tributes to Mr Fraser before parliamentary business is suspended for the day.
Mr Leyonhjelm said he had no fond words to say about Mr Fraser, other than he defeated Gough Whitlam in 1975.
“My mum said if you can’t say anything good about someone don’t say anything at all. So I’ll be totally silent today.”
Speaking to Fairfax media, Mr Leyonhjelm described the late leader as an “extremist”.
“He was right-wing extremist when I first knew him and he was a left-wing extremist when he died.”
“We have an awful lot of work to do and we lose a whole day for condolence motions?”
“It might be okay to stop for a few hours but losing a whole day I think is over the top.”
– with AAP