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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 14603


Mr DREYFUS (IsaacsDeputy Manager of Opposition Business) (09:01): I seek leave to move the following motion:

That the House:

(1) notes that yesterday, the Prime Minister said in Question Time in relation to the Special Minister of State’s involvement in the Ashby Affair “The evidence or the information about them has been in the public domain for some time. There have been no new developments, no changes or additions to that material” the:

(2) resolves that in making this statement, the Prime Minister ignored numerous new developments, namely the:

(a) Australian Federal Police conducting a raid on the Special Minister of State’s home in relation to the Minister’s involvement in the Ashby Affair; and

(b) Special Minister of State misleading the Parliament on three separate occasions this week on:

(i) Tuesday in Question Time when the Special Minister of State was asked about statements he had made in relation to the Ashby Affair, the Minister said “In relation to the 60 Minutes interview, what was put to air was not the full question”, but on Channel Nine Television News on Tuesday, in a story by journalist Laurie Oakes, the original version of the 60 Minutes interview was played and makes it clear that there were no words omitted which could in any way be considered part of the question the Minister was asked;

(ii) Wednesday, the Special Minister of State made a statement on indulgence in the House in which he claimed during his interview on 60 Minutes, he was answering a different part of the question which prompted his admission when there was clearly only one question asked; and

(iii) Wednesday in Question Time when the Special Minister of State was asked the exact same question that he was asked on 60 Minutes, he changed his answer from “Yes, I did” and said “No”, this was not withstanding the subsequent questions in the 60 Minutes interview which clearly affirmed his statement “Yes, I did”; and

(3) therefore censures the Prime Minister for failing to enforce his own criteria for taking action and sacking the Special Minister of State for repeatedly misleading the Parliament and breaching the Prime Minister’s own Statement of Ministerial Standards.

Leave not granted.

Mr DREYFUS: I move:

That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the Member for Isaacs from moving the following motion forthwith—

That the House:

(1) notes that yesterday, the Prime Minister said in Question Time in relation to the Special Minister of State’s involvement in the Ashby Affair “The evidence or the information about them has been in the public domain for some time. There have been no new developments, no changes or additions to that material”;

(2) resolves that in making this statement, the Prime Minister ignored numerous new developments, namely the:

(a) Australian Federal Police conducting a raid on the Special Minister of State’s home in relation to the Minister’s involvement in the Ashby Affair; and

(b) Special Minister of State misleading the Parliament on three separate occasions this week on:

(i) Tuesday in Question Time when the Special Minister of State was asked about statements he had made in relation to the Ashby Affair, the Minister said “In relation to the 60 Minutes interview, what was put to air was not the full question”, but on Channel Nine Television News on Tuesday, in a story by journalist Laurie Oakes, the original version of the 60 Minutes interview was played and makes it clear that there were no words omitted which could in any way be considered part of the question the Minister was asked;

(ii) Wednesday, the Special Minister of State made a statement on indulgence in the House in which he claimed during his interview on 60 Minutes, he was answering a different part of the question which prompted his admission when there was clearly only one question asked; and

(iii) Wednesday in Question Time when the Special Minister of State was asked the exact same question that he was asked on 60 Minutes, he changed his answer from “Yes, I did” and said “No”, this was not withstanding the subsequent questions in the 60 Minutes interview which clearly affirmed his statement “Yes, I did”; and

(3) therefore censures the Prime Minister for failing to enforce his own criteria for taking action and sacking the Special Minister of State for repeatedly misleading the Parliament and breaching the Prime Minister’s own Statement of Ministerial Standards.

The Special Minister of State made a nationally televised admission to a serious crime and then repeatedly misled this House in a pathetic attempt to cover it up. What does it take for this Prime Minister to act? What is he waiting for? He will not express his confidence in the minister's integrity—no member of the government will—and yet the Prime Minister does not have the character to put this to an end. He does not have the judgement; he does not have the leadership—

The SPEAKER: The member for Isaacs will resume his seat. The minister for resources.