Prime Minister Tony Abbott hopes Speaker Bronwyn Bishop won’t make any errors in the future like she has in the “not too distant past”.
On Tuesday in Canberra, Mr Abbott – talking at a press conference to announce the arrival of new food origin labels – clarified what Mrs Bishop’s “probation” as Speaker means and warned she can’t afford to make further mistakes.
“It is a serious error of judgement,” he said.
“And understandably, the Australian people are unhappy that a senior representative in the parliament should think that it was all right to use a helicopter to get around, when a Commcar would have been available at a fraction of the price.”
But the Speaker still enjoys his confidence and no one in the prime minister’s office has suggested she should resign amid controversy about her use of travel entitlements for charter flights.
“Bronwyn has my confidence,” Mr Abbott added.
“She has been a good and effective Speaker of the parliament…a good and effective member of parliament and at different times she has been a good and effective minister.
“I think the message to Bronwyn, the message to all of us is please no errors in the future like the sorts of errors that we have seen in the not too distant past.”