Tony Abbott’s appearance in front of signs that read “Ju-liar, Bob Browns [sic] Bitch” as Opposition Leader should have been a “career-ending moment for Tony Abbott”, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard said.
The ABC’s Killing Season will air the private feelings of some of the Labor Party’s front bench at the time when Ms Gillard had formed minority government in 2010.
In scenes from the third episode on Tuesday night, a host of well-known people appeared at protests in 2011 against the carbon tax outside Parliament House in Canberra, including Mr Abbott, billionaire Gina Rinehart, former Indi MP Sophie Mirabella, current Speaker Bronwyn Bishop and Rose Tattoo frontman Angry Anderson.
They appeared on a stage with several posters, including one that said “Ditch the witch”.
“I really don’t know why this wasn’t a career-ending moment for Tony Abbott, sexism is no better than racism,” Ms Gillard said.
Addressing the crowd, Mr Abbott said: “When I look out at this crowd of fine Australians, I do not see scientific heretics, I do not see environmental vandals. I see people who want honest government.”
But former front bench MP Greg Combet characterised the crowd differently.
“All sorts of fruit loops came out of dark corners of the country, and mixed up in that was misogyny,” Mr Combet said.
At a future protest, right wing shock jock Alan Jones appeared where he said “what we are saying to Julia Gillard, to the Prime Minister, is a very simple message. ‘Julia, go away. Go away Julia, get out of our lives Julia’.”
The Killing Season: The Long Shadow airs Tuesday at 8.30pm on ABC