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Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Page: 2784

Secretary of the Department of Agriculture


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:58): My question is to the Prime Minister. On 18 September 2013, the Prime Minister described Dr Paul Grimes PSM, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture as having a distinguished career. But two weeks ago, the Prime Minister sacked the same person, citing some issues between the secretary and his minister and a poor relationship of mutual confidence between them. Prime Minister, what were the issues that caused this poor relationship, and what was the contribution of the minister to this; or is the secretary taking 100 per cent of the blame?


Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:59): I would like to quote from the statement that was issued when Dr Grimes left. It says:

I would like to acknowledge the longstanding contribution of Dr Grimes to public administration in this country at the Commonwealth, state and territory levels.

There we are: 'I would like to acknowledge the longstanding contribution of Dr Grimes to public administration in this country at the Commonwealth, state and territory levels.' And, as for everything else, it has been dealt with in previous answers to this House.

Mr Shorten: Madam Speaker, a point of order: the Prime Minister was not relevant to the question to explain the role of the minister.

The SPEAKER: There is no point of order. The Prime Minister has finished answering his question.