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Monday, 26 November 2012
Page: 13153

Prime Minister

Ms JULIE BISHOP (CurtinDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:59): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime—

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! The Deputy Leader of the Opposition will begin her question again, and she has the right to be heard in silence.

Ms JULIE BISHOP: And the clock will start again?

The SPEAKER: The clock will start again.

Ms JULIE BISHOP: I refer the Prime Minister to her statement today that she provided legal advice to set up the AWU Workplace Reform Association and to her 1995 statement to Slater & Gordon that it was a slush fund to finance election campaigns. I also refer the Prime Minister to the incorporation documents that make no mention of financing elections. Does the Prime Minister admit that, when she inserted the name 'Australian Workers Union' in the documents with the stated purpose of promoting workplace safety, it could have misled people that it was an authorised union entity for the purpose of workplace safety when neither— (Time expired)

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (15:00): Whilst I am not entirely sure of the point of the deputy leader's question—she did not appear to get to it—on my role in relation to providing legal advice for the AWU reform association, the nature of my role is dealt with in the Slater & Gordon internal review document from 1995, which has now been in the public domain for quite a long period of time.

Mr Andrews: Another nonanswer.

Ms GILLARD: I dealt with this very clearly in a very long press conference that I gave on 23 August, and I refer her to all of the things that I described there. I refer her to the fact that I have dealt with this matter again today. That is the sum total of it. It is dealt with in some detail. So, whilst the Deputy Leader of the Opposition will keep twisting and turning and bringing in more irrelevancies—

Mr Andrews: You're the one twisting and turning!

The SPEAKER: The member for Menzies is warned!

Ms GILLARD: because, of course, the opposition do not have any positive plans for the nation's future, so they have to fill the air with sleaze and smear. No amount of asking questions on this matter is going to take the matter further about my role than what I have already very clearly dealt with on the public record.

Ms Julie Bishop: I seek leave to table a 1997 letter from the WA state crime squad to the Industrial Relations Court of Australia confirming that Thiess Contractors paid money into this slush fund believing it was authorised by the union and would not have done so if it had known it was unauthorised.

Mr Albanese: No, I table from the Australian 'Bishop's asbestos case role' from 3 December 2007.

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the House will resume his seat.