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Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Page: 2475


Senator FIERRAVANTI-WELLS (New South Wales) (15:57): Pursuant to contingent notice and at the request of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator Abetz, I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Abetz moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a matter, namely a motion to give precedence to a motion relating to the Government’s failure to provide documents concerning the construction of a new Youth Skills and Employment Centre for the Central Coast.

This is an absolutely disgraceful move in this sad, sorry and sordid saga in relation to this job centre. The minister in his answer said that there had been 'usual communications'. If there are only 'usual communications', why are the Australian Labor Party and their alliance partners, the Greens, going to so much length to stifle debate on this and not produce these documents? That is the issue. What is this government hiding? I will tell you what they are hiding: they are protecting the member for Dobell. What hypocrisy! So much for the Greens. They will sit there day after day and prattle about transparency. You are all hypocrites, because today—

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order! Senator Fierravanti-Wells, you will need to withdraw that. That is unparliamentary.

Senator FIERRAVANTI-WELLS: I withdraw that.

Senator Abetz: They apply double standards.

Senator FIERRAVANTI-WELLS: Senator Abetz, they absolutely apply double standards. Yesterday, I was asking legitimate questions. Of course, we have copies of documents. There are all the matters that I have referred to in this chamber about this issue since August last year, and there are lots of documents, but all I got produced from this government was 44 folios, most of which were just blank pages. We know that Minister Garrett received correspondence from the member for Dobell, because on one little line that was unredacted it refers to Mr Thomson raising concerns about interaction between '…' and DEEWR. Who is '…'? We know who '…' is: it is CCGT. Of course, because the documents were denied to me because of unsubstantiated allegations, this is only a cover-up.

Debate interrupted.