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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1822

Ministerial Code of Conduct


Mr SHORTEN (Maribyrnong—Leader of the Opposition) (14:02): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Prime Minister's inept failure to enforce his own ministerial standards. Is the Prime Minister powerless to act against a minister who breaches the ministerial standards when that minister is a member of the National Party? And are there any formal agreements—

Mr Pyne interjecting

The SPEAKER: Can the Leader of the Opposition please resume his seat. Can the Leader of the House cease interjecting. I refer members to my statements during the last sitting week. I need to hear these questions, if I am expected to rule on them. So I am going to need to ask the Leader of the Opposition to begin his question again.

Mr SHORTEN: My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Prime Minister's inept failure to administer his own ministerial standards. Is the Prime Minister powerless to act against a minister who breaches the ministerial standards when that minister is a member of the National Party? And are there any formal agreements that prevent the Prime Minister from enforcing his own ministerial standards?




Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:03): The answer to those two questions are no and no. The ministerial standards are enforced and have recently been revised. I want to note that it took some while, some time, for the Leader of the Opposition to agree with the proposition that ministers must not engage in sexual relations with their staff. It took him a while to agree with that.

Honourable members interjecting

Mr TURNBULL: He did. The ministerial standards have been revised. For the information of honourable members, I table a copy of the ministerial standards as revised by me and reissued on the 15th of this month.