Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Page: 5819

Coalition Government


Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (14:43): My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Brandis. The Editor-At-Large of The Australian newspaper, Paul Kelly, has labelled yesterday's performance by the Minister for Foreign Affairs:

… a bad situation for the government made to look even worse as well as absurd. The Turnbull government sank into panic conceived in apparent desperation.

When will the government stop resorting to desperate and absurd tactics to cover up the chaos caused by its own ineptitude?


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:44): Senator Cameron, you asked me to comment on some commentary by a commentator. I won't be doing that.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Cameron, a supplementary question.



Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (14:44): Mark Kenny of The Sydney Morning Herald has observed:

Monday was bad, but Tuesday was a disaster—a fact written on the shell-shocked faces of government members of parliament …

When will the government focus on the challenges being faced by working- and middle-class Australians instead of creating disasters to distract?


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:45): Senator Cameron, I do rate Paul Kelly as a commentator. I must say I can't say the same thing about Mark Kenny. I think the only commentary worth reading in the Fairfax papers this morning is my own op-ed article on the hypocrisy of Senator Wong's position on same-sex marriage.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Cameron, a final supplementary question.



Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (14:45): Dennis Shanahan observed:

The Coalition response to the Barnaby Joyce New Zealand citizenship brouhaha is a disaster.

Isn't Mr Shanahan correct when he says:

Julie Bishop has thrown petrol on the flames and damaged our closest relationship.


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:46): I certainly don't agree with that, Senator Cameron. I have high regard for Dennis Shanahan, who I rate as a journalist and a commentator and who I regard as somebody who more often than not gets it right. But he did not on this occasion, because what is disclosed is the fact that Senator Wong and Senator Wong's office were engaged in a conspiracy with the New Zealand Labour Party to bring down the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. As I said yesterday and repeat again today, by all means have your fights here in Australia, but don't go to the back doors, sneaking around the New Zealand parliament and using a foreign party to try to make political points in Australia. Mr Albanese exposed Senator Wong's lies in his interview with 5AA this morning, and I commend to you his transcript. (Time expired)