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Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Page: 2277

Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation


Mr BRENDAN O'CONNOR (Gorton) (15:01): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Prime Minister's previous answer, where he confirmed that the minister for the workplace is responsible for administering the Fair Work Act. I also refer to evidence at Senate estimates just now from Minister Cash that both she and the minister for the workplace are responsible for administering the Fair Work Act. Is this another example of the chaos of this government, where ministers don't even know what they're in charge of? Or did the Prime Minister only make the decision to remove Senator Cash's responsibility today and not tell her?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (15:01): On the subject of industrial relations and the Fair Work Act, you would think the member for O'Connor—

Opposition members interjecting

Mr TURNBULL: Sorry, the member for Gorton. The member for O'Connor stands up for workers and jobs. He does. He's doing a great job. And I have to say, the member for Gorton from time to time benefits from the incidental association with the great member for O'Connor. In the member for O'Connor's electorate, you've got plenty of miners, and they know they have got a member who defends them—not like this member for Gorton here. He stood up with the Leader of the Opposition and Tony Maher and said to those workers that they were pro-coal, that they were supporting them. But little did he know that his leader was taking thousands of dollars from a Point Piper millionaire no less, going off on a trip to the Barrier Reef, snorkelling, flying around in charter jets—but it wasn't meant to come out.

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will resume his seat. The Manager of Opposition Business on a point of order.

Mr Burke: On direct relevance, Mr Speaker. The Prime Minister has strayed well and truly from who's responsible for administering the Fair Work Act.

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister needs to, as I said in some earlier answers, confine himself to the subject of the question, which was the Fair Work Act.

Mr TURNBULL: The Fair Work Act has been breached again and again by the CFMEU—breached again and again, millions of dollars of fines. And there were the member for Gorton and the Leader of the Opposition encouraging those workers, those members of the CFMEU, in their vile threats against workers that were going in there and doing their jobs. But what they didn't know was that the Leader of the Opposition—and the member for Gorton, no doubt, because he backs his Leader of the Opposition to the hilt, I'm sure; the hilt or the butterknife—was getting ready to cancel the Adani licence. And the legal grounds were all set out by Geoff Cousins, and one of them related to new information about the offsets for the endangered black-throated finch. How would the workers at Oaky have responded if the Leader of the Opposition had said, 'black-throated finches of the world unite'? I don't think they would have been very impressed. He sold their jobs down the river to get green votes and, of course, a nice holiday on the Barrier Reef.

Mr Brendan O'Connor: I seek to table the transcript of the Senate estimates which goes to Senator Cash saying that she is responsible, along with the minister for the workplace, for the Fair Work Act—

The SPEAKER: The member for Gorton will resume his seat and I'll rule on the point of order. I'm not trying to be difficult to the member for Gorton—I know the point he is trying to make—but I've ruled, consistently with rulings of previous Speakers, that we are not going to have a rotisserie of tabling Hansard, which is already a document of the parliament.