Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Page: 13723

Prime Minister


Ms JULIE BISHOP (CurtinDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:34): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Prime Minister's answer in the House on Monday as to whether she had written to the WA commissioner for corporate affairs to vouch for the bona fides of the AWU Workplace Reform Association:

… the association is only incorporated if the … authority … is satisfied … Clearly, the registrar must have been so satisfied, or they would not have incorporated the association.

Given the Prime Minister's statement this week that she provided legal advice to establish the association and her failure to rule out writing to the commissioner on Monday, I ask the Prime Minister again: did she at any time write to the commissioner for corporate affairs to vouch for— (Time expired)


Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:35): As the matter grows more and more embarrassing from the point of view of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, I remind her that in this House and outside this House I have consistently answered questions about this matter and how I provided advice as a lawyer on the association, and no amount of smear changes that simple fact.

In relation to smear and the line of opposition questioning today, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition's questions have been based on Michael Smith's blog today. That is her only source, Michael Smith—

Mrs Bronwyn Bishop: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: I refer you to page 565 of the Practice and also page 516. Clearly, the Prime Minister is given the right to absolutely refuse to answer questions—which she does repeatedly in this chamber. But she also chooses to use, as it says on page 516, 'abusive and insulting language of a nature likely to create disorder'. Clearly she does, and the point of order is this: if she is not prepared to answer the questions, she should at least take them on notice or say she is not prepared to answer them, when in this chamber it is time she said—

The SPEAKER: The member for Mackellar will resume her seat.

Government members interjecting

Mr Lyons interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Bass might be telling people a great many things—but not in the chamber, in the next couple of minutes, if he is not careful. The Prime Minister has the call and will return to the question before the chair.

Ms GILLARD: In answer to the point of order by the member for Mackellar and to the question in general: I have answered questions about my role as a solicitor in relation to providing legal advice on this association. I am also pointing out to the House that the opposition's tactics today have been dictated by Michael Smith's blog. Who is Michael Smith? He is the man who was sacked for wanting to defame me, basing that defamation on an affidavit drawn up by John Pasquarelli of One Nation fame. Who is Michael Smith?

Mr Pyne: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

The SPEAKER: I will point out to the Manager of Opposition Business that the one point of order on this question has been taken. I will listen carefully to a different point of order, but be warned.

Mr Pyne: Madam Speaker, you have directed the Prime Minister to be relevant to the questions she is being asked. How could talking about Michael Smith be in the least bit relevant? So, she is defying your ruling.

The SPEAKER: With all these questions there is a great deal of information given before the question is put. The Prime Minister has the call and will go to the question before the chair.

Ms GILLARD: I am dealing with this in the sense that the source of these allegations is Michael Smith. Who is Michael Smith? He is the man accompanying Ralph Blewitt around Australia. Who is Michael Smith? He is the man who rang the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and handed the phone over so that she could speak to Ralph Blewitt. What is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition's version of these events? It is that Michael Smith rang her up and she had no idea who the phone was going to be handed over to. Who was she expecting—Humphrey B Bear? No; he can't talk. Tom Cruise? No; he's not in Australia.

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will return to the question.

Ms GILLARD: Who on earth was she expecting on the phone? And why didn't she tell the truth about it yesterday?













Ms JULIE BISHOP (CurtinDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:39): Madam Speaker, I ask a supplementary question of the Prime Minister. I refer to her answers in this House. Did the Prime Minister write to the WA commissioner for corporate affairs to vouch for the bona fides of the AWU Workplace Reform Association—yes or no?


Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:39): Given that the Leader of the Opposition read along with every word of that question from the Deputy Leader: get up and ask it yourself, and then I will answer it.