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Monday, 22 June 2009
Page: 6715

Mr TURNBULL (4:04 PM) —My question is addressed to the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer to his statement in the House on 4 June when he said that Mr John Grant ‘received the same assistance as every other car dealer’. I refer again to the meeting on 23 February where Ford Credit was seeking more than half a billion dollars of taxpayer funded assistance. Can the Treasurer inform the House about how and why Treasury officials came to know that Mr Grant was an acquaintance of the Prime Minister?

Mr SWAN (Treasurer) —He ought to do the decent thing and resign. He is so desperate.

The SPEAKER —The minister will respond to the question.

Mr SWAN —You ought to do the decent thing and resign.

Mr Turnbull —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The Treasurer should do the decent thing and answer the question.

The SPEAKER —The Treasurer should respond to the question.

Mr SWAN —I do not accept the characterisation of that matter—the way in which it was put by the Leader of the Opposition. The fact is that Treasury officials were meeting on behalf of dealers to try and secure finance for them. That is a very important thing that they were doing because many of those dealers—

Mr Hockey —One dealer.

Mr SWAN —No, more than one dealer—many dealers. This has been outlined by Mr Delaney:

The treatment that Mr Grant, a member of mine, got was no different from the treatment all of my other members got on my intervention on their behalf to Mr Grech. They were all treated in the same way and for the same good reason—there was no other way to do these things.