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Its interesting to watch the vision for this incident and to see a confident Tony Abbott deftly put Nicola Berkovic in her place at the press conference yesterday:
After Mr Abbott arrived, the first question of the day was from Nicola Berkovic, a journalist from The Australian newspaper.
‘‘Prime Minister, do you trust this government, the state government, which is proving to be corrupt, to deliver your major infrastructure plans?’’
The question was perhaps poorly worded as no state Liberal has been found corrupt.
But Mr Abbott was not in a forgiving mood as he tried to turn his prime ministerial authority back on Berkovic.
‘‘That, if I may say so, is an entirely unjustified smear,’’ Mr Abbott said.
‘‘Let me not mince my words, madam. An entirely unjustified smear, and frankly I think you should withdraw that. There is no evidence whatsoever for that.’’
He then asked Berkovic, a former press gallery journalist of the year for her coverage of the Rudd government’s home insulation scheme, what her evidence was.
Another journalist tried to restore normal press conference service by asking Mr Abbott if he would remember receiving a bottle of wine from his birth year.
But Mr Abbott would not be deterred. Waving off the interruption, he returned to Berkovic.
‘‘Please, please, I’ve asked what the evidence of that statement was and none has been forthcoming,’’ he said, holding up his hands.
Berkovic replied: ‘‘I think that voters will have questions to ask about a premier who specifically said yesterday that if he was delivered a bottle of that nature he would remember it. Today a thank you note has been uncovered and he has resigned. I think voters would be quite sceptical about the way this has unfolded.’’
Mr Abbott said that was a very different statement from the previous one and called on everybody to lift their game.