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Thursday, 29 November 2012
Page: 13957

Prime Minister


Ms JULIE BISHOP (CurtinDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:48): My question is to the Prime Minister. I remind the Prime Minister of her confession to Slater & Gordon in her exit interview of conduct which appears to be in breach of the WA—

Mr Dreyfus: Madam Speaker, I raise a point of order. That is simply argument and is out of order. It should not form part of the question.

The SPEAKER: I was going to, at the end of the question, ask the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to rephrase the question.

Ms JULIE BISHOP: I remind the Prime Minister of her statement to Slater & Gordon in her exit interview of conduct which appears to be in breach of WA Criminal Code sections 170, 409 and 558, and Associations Incorporation Act section 43. Does the Prime Ministers expect to enjoy the confidence of this House now that the record of her exit interview shows that she misled the WA Corporate Affairs Commissioner into registering a sham association, and has failed to reveal the truth about this matter in her statement to the House.

Mr Dreyfus: Madam Speaker, I raise a point of order, which is that this whole question is simply argument. It is not substantiated. It cannot be substantiated. It is an assertion without basis by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and cannot be properly put. It does not conform with the standing orders.

The SPEAKER: The question was full of argument, but so many of them have been this week that it is a bit difficult to rule which ones have been in or out of order.







Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:50): Is it not interesting that the Leader of the Opposition had 15 minutes to make an allegation out, and did not go to these matters that the deputy leader raises. There she is with her sections of the legislation, waving them around, pretending again to be Miss Marple while needing to make sure that she does not run into a television camera in Parliament House because she does not want to front up to the media for her lack of honesty about her dealings with Ralph Blewitt. Let me just answer the Deputy Leader of the Opposition's question full of argument. She referred to an interview as an exit interview. To what is she possibly referring? If she is referring to the interview of Slater & Gordon in 1995, why would she refer to it as an exit interview, other than to mislead people? Why would she refer to me misleading the commissioner when that did not occur, and she cannot make that out, and the transcript of the interview that I had in Slater & Gordon does not bear out that allegation? Why would she be in this parliament misleading about my state of knowledge about the association when I have answered that clearly in here and on the public record? Why is it that the opposition—having gone out there this morning and accused me of a crime, having not been able to back that allegation in here in parliament today in a 15 minute address—is now using the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to make things up and put them in the most colourful and prejudicial terminology?

What this is about is an opposition being absolutely at the bottom of the mud bucket— absolutely at the bottom of it. They have nothing to raise that is substantive in any way. They are trapped into continuing to question on this matter this week because they are worried how it will look if they drop off these questions. It will look like their strategy is out of huff. I have news for the opposition. Even with them asking these questions today, even with the Leader of the Opposition's 15-minute address—or perhaps because of it—it is clear that their political strategy is out of huff. It is clear that their political strategy is no longer working for them. Negativity got them a long way. They are hoping that sleaze and smear will get them the rest of the way, but the problem is Australians now have an accurate assessment of the character of this man and they do not like what they see. Australians know that he will never have his chief of staff wandering around with a file that says 'jobs' or 'health' or 'education' under her arm, because he will never have a positive policy for the nation's future. We will get on with building that future—you live in the mud. (Time expired)