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Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Page: 54

Member for Fisher

Mr DREYFUS (IsaacsDeputy Manager of Opposition Business) (15:06): My question is to the Prime Minister. Documents were released today under FOI relating to the former Special Minister of State's involvement in the Ashby affair. On 2 December last year the Prime Minister said the former Special Minister of State would only be stood down if there were 'new developments'. Given the Special Minister of State was stood down on 29 December, Prime Minister, what are these new developments?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (15:07): I thank the honourable member for his question. The honourable member would be aware that the former special minister advised me that it had become apparent that police inquiries would not be completed before the parliament returned in February. So I announced on 29 December last year that he and I agreed that he stand aside as a minister pending completion of those inquiries. He has not, of course, been charged with any offence. There was no requirement under the Statement of ministerial standards that he stand aside, but he has done the right thing, recognising the importance of the government maintaining an unwavering focus on jobs, economic growth and national security.