Scott Morrison has described the killing of Hannah Clarke and her three children in Brisbane by her estranged partner as “evil” as MPs wept in Parliament and called on Australians to call it what it is, “murder.”
Question time in Parliament was delayed today as the Prime Minister and Opposition leader Anthony Albanese noted the deaths of the children and their mother.
MPs wept in the chamber as the Prime Minister read out Ms Clarke’s own words where she vowed she was “a strong woman” who was a “survivor, not a victim.”
The Prime Minister said Hannah Clarke and her children had a right to feel safe and the system had failed them.
Mr Morrison said it needed to be called out for what it was and more action taken on family violence.
“Murder – that’s what it is. Murder,” he said.
“It shocked our country. When Jenny and I spoke about it, we just couldn’t get our heads around it, as I’m sure is the case for every single parent, and it doesn’t matter if you are a parent or not – you can’t imagine it.
“The act itself and that somebody could perpetrate that act, particularly as a father, it is incomprehensible. And such depravity that only makes you ask – how does such evil happen in our land? ”
Mr Morrison said the family had demonstrated extraordinary resilience and character in the worst of all possible circumstances.
“As best we can, we also send the country’s love to you. In your grief you have every right to be angry – furious – because everything we have done across this country to protect women and children didn’t protect Hannah and her children from this evil,” he said.
“I believe state, territory and national governments, all of us, and importantly the judiciary must all reflect again on these terrible murders. We must reflect on how and where the system failed Hannah and her children. It is so frustrating. It is so devastating.
“While this was the action of the depraved and evil man, we know enough of the circumstances leading up to the murders to know this should not have happened, and there will rightly be an inquest in Queensland – and I commend the Queensland government for taking that action as they should. It will speak the truth.”
Amid a national debate over claims the estranged father could have been “driven” to violence, Mr Morrison said there were no excuses.
“There are never any excuses – there are none – or justifications for the evil that Hannah and her children experienced – never – not under any circumstances,” she said.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese wants to ensure the memory of Hannah Clarke and her children is honoured with decisive action.
“We cannot let their shocking and horrific end be the whole story. We must hold onto their names, hold onto the image of those four faces, so happy because they were with each other,” he said.
“The courage that Hannah showed, as the Prime Minister said – she left. That takes courage. She took her kids to what she thought was safety, only to find that that wasn’t the case.
“We can’t accept this is normal. We have it in us to be so much better.”
In the Senate, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson called on Australia not to “bastardise all men”.
Earlier, she delivered the same message on Channel Nine’s Today show.
“Don’t bastardise all men out there, or women for that matter, because these things happen,” she said.
“A lot of people are driven to this, to do these acts for one reason or another.”