US President Barack Obama set to arrive to carbon tax protest during Canberra visit
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US PRESIDENT Barack Obama's visit is already causing tensions with the anti-carbon price campaign determined to hold a protest rally in front of Parliament House when he arrives in Canberra in two weeks time.
However the midday rally could clash with the severe security which will be in place for the President's visit.
And the Opposition attempted to use an announcement of Mr Obama's address to a joint sitting of Parliament to highlight reports of leadership threats against Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
“I wonder if President Obama will leave the United States to visit Julia Gillard as Prime Minister and arrive to find that Stephen Smith or Kevin Rudd is actually occupying that chair?'' Manager of Opposition Business Christopher Pyne said today.
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd returned fire, reminding Parliament former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard had said an Obama election victory would be a victory for terrorism.
President Obama will visit Canberra and address the joint sitting on November 17, Government Leader in the House of Representatives, Anthony Albanese told Parliament.
His address will follow speeches of welcome from Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
“This will be a case where Australia is on display to the world. It is appropriate that here in this Parliament, the centre of democracy in our nation, we invite and are able to hear one of the democratic leaders of the world, the President of the United States, address us,'' Mr Albanese said.
Mr Pyne followed and used the motion supporting the President's address to attack the Gillard Government on a range of issues, including asylum seeker policy.
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd later called Mr Pyne's comments disgraceful.
“It is just remarkable the sanctimony and the piety coming from the Labor Party when we are discussing this motion,'' Mr Pyne said.
“They should be embarrassed about what a shambolic rabble their government has become. Rather than taking it in their stride, they are pretending that somehow they have some moral superiority on that side of the House to this side of the House.
“I remind members of the visit of George Bush Snr in Christmas 1991.
“He left the United States when Bob Hawke was the Prime Minister and arrived when Paul Keating was the Prime Minister.
“I wonder whether there will be similar parallels at this time? I wonder if President Obama will leave the United States to visit Julia Gillard as Prime Minister and arrive to find that Stephen Smith or Kevin Rudd is actually occupying that chair?''
It took Deputy Liberal Leader Julie Bishop to actually mention the subject of the motion, the presidential speech: “The Coalition certainly looks forward to the visit of President Obama to this Parliament.''
The campaigners against carbon pricing have twice rallied in from of Parliament House this year but are unlikely to get the plum rallying point for their midday gathering on the day of the President's arrival.
By the time he actually gets to Australia the carbon pricing legislation is expected to be law, with a vote scheduled next week.
But that won't stop planners of the No Carbon Tax rally who have even modified an Obama election slogan: Repeal Carbon Tax - Yes We Can.
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