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(generated from captions) the division.Yay s-33 nos 56. The question is resolved in the affirmative. Call the Member for Watson.The Turnbull Government can't cover up for this Minister forever.I call on the Member for Watson will resume his seat. The Leader of the House.I move that the Member be no longer heard.The question is no longer be heard. Nos have it. Division required. Ring the bells for one minute. We did hear that number coming back from Bruce Scott. Labor 33 in the chamber right now and the Coalition 56. They've easily been able to pass that gag on Mark Dreyfus. Now they move to do the same to Tony Burke who is trying to second this motion to suspend the Parliament's rules so they can demand that Stuart Robert, the Human Resources Minister, comes in and presents himself to the House with an explanation as to what he did in Beijing in August 2014. They want to know things like who paid for his trip, what assistance he might have got, if any, from the Australian Embassy? What he marked on his trip?
visa form? Was it a business trip? Was it leisure? Was it a holiday? It sees all of this as important because it's trying to build a case that he has transgressed the ministerial code of conduct in a number of ways.We are apart to start this - about to start this count on the gag motion on Tony Burke. It is likely to be along similar lines to the one that just went on to Mark Dreyfus.Labor's definitely seized on this document that existed on a Chinese Government website and it gives almost a blow-by-blow account of a meeting on the morning of 19 August 2014. It says that the Resources
Vice Minister of Land and Resources for China, Mr Wang Min, has met with the Australian Assistant Defence Minister Stuart Robert and his party. That's their translation of Stuart rob. It says "The two sides will jointly create a favourable external investment environment promoting mining sector cooperation and further strengthen Sino-Australian talks and exchanges". It says Wang min welcomed Robert Stuart, again their translation, and his party into the office there. It is that which Labor is drawing heavily on today. We might just be hearing in a moment one of the clerks advising Bruce Scott procedurally on what should happen next once they've counted the votes in this division. Quite obviously many more Government members in the house than Labor right now. The results of the division is yays 83, nos 66. It is resolved in the affirmative. I call the Leader of the House.I move the motion be put.The ayes have it. In accordance to standing order 133 C the division is deferred until the conclusion of the discussion on the matter of public importance. The debate on this item is therefore adjourned until that time. I call the clerk. Government business. Order of the day No.1, social services legislation amendment -That's where we will live that endeavour, unsuccessful as it was, by the Labor Party in the House but you can reasonably expect, notwithstanding the Speaker's ruling yesterday, that Labor will try and revisit this matter of Stuart Robert in Question
some way when it gets into Question Time. That's in just under an hour from now and we will be bringing that to you. As we have been saying, it is this article from the Chinese Government's Ministry of Land website that's made Stuart Robert's life more complicated. Yesterday the now Human Resources Minister shrugged off his attendance at a Beijing business event with his friend and Liberal donor Paul Marks. He shrugged it off because he said he was on leave and that the trip was private. Well, activities
this report today tells of activities the next day, the morning of 19 August, when, to quote the Chinese Government "The Australian Defence Vice Minister of Land and
Minister Robert Stuart met the Resources Resources Wang Min in Beijing". That reads like a work trip and it's why Labor is going after Mr Robert as never before. It's no longer prepared to wait for the head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Martin Parkinson, to hand his Prime Minister.
report on Mr Robert back to the Prime Minister.What does it look like when an Australian Minister, a junior minister in the Australian Government, stands behind the Australian flag at a signing ceremony, presents a certificate to a Communist Party
high official in the Chinese Communist Party who is connected with the Chinese mining company and lines up in a row of dignitaries at this signing ceremony? It's not a surprise that the Chinese mining company's website portrayed this event as having the blessing of the Australian Government. That blessing was confer ed on it by the Stuart
Assistant minister of Defence Stuart Robert. He has to make a full statement as to what it was he was doing


In breach of the ministerial stand standards.Stuart Robert not without support among some ministerial colleagues but Labor definitely going to say some more on him as the day goes on. There is another issue that Labor's running hard on. there is
The WA newspaper is reporting there is new impetus in the push to contract out the management of billions of dollars of Medicare, welfare and veterans' payments to private providers to make them. The suggestion is that this slow-moving project could be fast-tracked as soon as the May budget. Labor's come out strongly against it, as it has before. We spoke to frontbencher Doug Cameron about that and about Stuart Robert a little earlier. Doug Cameron, it is public knowledge the Government has, to some degree, been interested in outsourcing billions of dollars worth of payments for some time. Based on media reports and other information you have, what's going on now? Are they seeming to accelerate this process? I think it's a triumph of ideology over commonsense. This is another lazy loop to try and balance the budget by selling off what are fairly essential services to the Australian public. This would mean massive job losses, this would mean the privacy of Australians would be clearly under attack. I just think it's a nonsense proposal from the Government.Why? Let's go to privacy. Why is it a given that that would be under threat just because it was done by a private sector company? Our banks look after sensitive information all the time, fairly securely.This is not banking information. This is the information of people's health, it is their medical records and it's clear that the Australian public expect the Government to look after them. They don't want private companies who are driven by profit, who are driven by their relationship with the electoral funds that they provide to the Liberals being given a benefit because the Government should do this. All over the world, governments look after this type of information, not the private sector.What's wrong with at least checking and testing your efficiency against what other providers could do? Because this is not the same as what other providers provide. This is the most sensitive information Australians have. It's about their health, about their medical records, it is about sensitive information that shouldn't be out there in the private sector. This is clearly an ideological position this Government is punishing. It - is pushing. It's lazy economics and shouldn't happen.You have identified job losses as a consequence of this were it to go ahead. What do you say those numbers would be? There is about 1,400 jobs here. These jobs are all over the country. A lot of them in rural and National
regional Australia. I think the National Party, if they are worth anything, if they stop being the doormats of the Liberal Party and just be stood upon, they should say "This is not on, we want to protect jobs in regional Australia".The Government is some way, really, at the front edge of a big process to upgrade the computing system that sits behind these departments. Do you sense that it is committed to completing that spend? If so, what would happen to that project if things were outsourced? I don't think they are committed. All they have spended is $60 million over the next four years on a project some estimates are a value of $1.5 billion. They are certainly not very far down the road of what's called the whippet - the transformation project. That project is being used by the Government to say "We'll fix everything, every problem will be fixed by whippet", yet they are not investing it. We will fast track and assure it is looked after.You have Senate estimates this week, you will put some of these questions to the relevant officials? Absolutely. Whether we get the answers or not is another matter but we will attempt to ensure that all these questions are answered. We will attempt to ensure that the loss of jobs are delineated by the Government officials when they are there. We want to ensure jobs are kept in this country. If you want to be innovative, you don't just hand over your technology to your political donors.Another figure who could provide answers on some Resources
of these issues is the Human Resources Minister, Stuart Robert. Why didn't Labor pursue more forcefully in the House yesterday this China trip? It sort of got stymied and all we learnt at the end of the day was that Martin Parkinson is looking into this.The "Looking into it". Another example of showing
where the Prime Minister is showing no leadership. Morrison was saying they've got bedwetters. The chief bedwetter in their government seems to be the Prime Minister . He east not prepared - he's not prepared to make decisions. He's got no vision for this country other than rhetoric. We have been pursuing it all morning. This Minister is in deep trouble.You are saying he should go? Definitely. I think he has quite clearly breached ministerial standards. It doesn't pass the pub test. It doesn't pass the laugh test. The arguments he is putting up. The Prime Minister should show just a little bit of backbone and get rid of him.Let's see how that progresses today -I'm not holding my breath.Fair enough, thank you. Just to cover off the Government's perspective on potential changes to the payment system, the Health Minister Sussan Ley has issued a statement noting that Australians use tap and go cards to make payments and apps to make payments all the time and yet Medicare hasn't kept up with new technologies. She says "This is why the Department of Health is investigating ways to digitise transaction technology" and she notes that "At this stage, no decisions have been made and that work continues". Today is a Tuesday, the Party meeting day here on sitting weeks and our political editor Chris Uhlmann has been getting an update on what's happened, at least insofar as the Coalition party room meeting is concerned. Chris, the Prime Minister's been dropping all these hints publicly about where the GST adventure has led him. How has he broached that with the troops? The Prime Minister said today in the party room they had been looking at the issue of a GST hike painfully and carefully and, after having a long look at it, it did not offer the economic benefits that many had assumed. Yet another nail you would think in the coffin of the GST there. That's the Government modelling and having spoken to ministers a little earlier in this week, it would appear that the economic benefit that was going to be offered - remember at the moment the GDP is at 2.5% - wasn't modest even under what they saw as the biggest move they could make. Another nail in the coffin, something that's dead, buried and yet to be cremated.You were talking about the economic analysis Prime Minister
they applied to it but the Prime Minister in that party room would be aware that a good number that he was speaking to were deeply uneasy about what this might mean electorally, politically? That's right. They fell into a number of different camps. First and foremost marginal seat holders who are always nervous about a scare campaign, particularly one where everyone was going to be affected so there was nervousness there. Other groups in the Coalition as well. Those that believe in small Government and didn't see an increase in the GST as adding anything more than making the size of government bigger, so there were some purists in this argument from the other side as well. I don't think there is an enormous amount of displeasure on the Coalition side they will be dumping this but they have yet to do it formally. At some stage, as Arthur Sinodinas said on the weekend, they have to make the argument.On the general disposition, the outlook politically, what did the Prime Minister have to say he
there? The Prime Minister says he is feeling pretty buoyant. He did note he thought they were doing reasonably well, that people liked the sober approach to government they were offering, the innovation package had been well received but he pointed out things can go wrong and the hours between now and the election are running out. That's a truism, I guess -They can go wrong when - I'm sure this did not rate a mention at all there but this crowding out effect, this clouding effect, when you have discussion about Stuart Robert and the ministry more generally? That's right. We still await the pleasure of the Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss to tell us when he might be leaving politics. Someone on the National Party said they did expect that announcement-to-come this week. We have expected it almost every week for a long time, we will wait and see. Stuart Robert is in ever-more difficulty again this morning. It emerges he had a meeting with a Chinese minister in the company of the executive from there was
Nimrod who was his friend so there was an official meeting of some kind there which the Minister himself describes as a to
personal trip so more questions to be answered.You'd have to wonder whether that was in the knowledge or cope scope - knowledge or scope of the Martin Parkinson review yesterday because it did take media work to uncover that. Yesterday they were looking at the Nimrod meetings, within 24 Hours that's expanded massively.Let's leave aside the questions about propriety and give to the minister what he says, that this was personally funded and doesn't breach any of the standards, you have to ask a question about judgment. Going into China as a minister from Australia in the company of an official from a mining company China than
sends a different message in China than it does in Australia. The message it is sending to those people is this company has very direct access to the Australian Government. It's a question of judgment and you would have to make the argument that Stuart Robert seems to have left that out of his equation when he was thinking about this trip.That's an argument Labor is already making. We know there will be ministerial reshuffle at some point. One person Malcolm Turnbull couldn't contemplate putting back in is one he took out, that's Bruce Billson. You have been talking to people about this. It seems there was some sort of rapprochement between Mr Turnbull and Bruce Billson over the summer break? Between Christmas and New Year which you will recall was the time the Prime Minister was wrestling with a number of problems with the ministry. Jamie Briggs stepped out of it, Mal Brough stepped down from it because he is still to clear up his involvement in the Peter Slipper affair. We have spoken to be
about Warren Truss. There has to be a shift at some stage by the Prime Minister to get at least one person into his ministry, maybe two when Warren Truss makes the announcement. Bruce Billson was always seen as an energetic and good Small Business Minister. Some were surprised when he was dumped out of the Cabinet. The argument was saying he wanted to stay in Cabinet and small business and the Prime Minister wouldn't countenance that. Between that time, the Prime Minister had a conversation with him and said he could imagine a road back to Cabinet for him because the Prime Minister had the same journey. In 2010, the Prime Minister said he was leaving politics Prime
all together and now he is Prime Minister. He offered that piece of advice to Bruce Billson who said "I have made a vote for my family, I'm leaving politics".Could we deduce there may have been an implied offer for the future? Had he stuck a round there might have been something for him? This has currency in Coalition ranks. People see Bruce Billson as a big loss and some other people in Cabinet he preferred over them as being much less ministers than that man was. All the normal chatter you would expect from the fact that the transactional costs of leadership change are still on show for everyone to see.The generaly unsettling atmosphere, the jockey ing that goes on in the background, everyone knows there will be a reshuffle, it becomes a talking point amongst the next tier of Liberals who rather fancy their chances for elevation.That's right. People are trailing their coat tail, those who would be seeking preferment from the Prime Minister, I have spoken to a couple who see themselves as well positioned to do it, who have made their pitch to me but that's probably not the best place to go, but certainly there are people doing that. The one thing that seems to be obsessing is the National Party. The National Party no matter what it says, one of their MPs said the other way "We don't do the naval gazing" has been doing nothing but naval gaze since October last year when people knew Warren Truss was on his way out. We await the Deputy Prime Minister to let us know.A few more awkward doorsteps for Barnaby Joyce.He does have the numbers but that depends on who you talk to.Thanks for the update. Senators are continuing their grilling with public servants with another sessions of estimates hearing. Today was the turn of the Human Rights She
Commissioner Gillian Triggs. She was questioned by Sarah Hanson-Young about Australia's asylum seekers
policy of offshore detention of asylum seekers and in particular the impact on children . But it was questioning about the way the international community views Australia's actions that sparked some heated exchanges.I do have a very wide range of understanding of the international community, at least in the human rights environment, their concerns. One that particularly stands in my mind is our closer neighbours from Indonesia, from the Philippines, from Vietnam, Malaysia say to me in all good faith they've always seen Australia as a leader for human rights globally and in the region. They are saying to me "Why are we now adopting an exceptionalist approach to the prolonged detention of asylum seekers and refugees?". The question isn't - nobody really questions the right to hold children and their families for short periods of time for security, identity, health checks and so on but what they are puzzled by is why we should be complicit in treatment which is seen within the cruel
international community as cruel treatment and punishment? Are you suggesting that there are elements that we are breaching in terms of the convention against torture with the detention of children who are so mentally unwell? Well, perhaps I can again begin by saying that is initially the judgment of the United Nations rapportur on the convention against torture. That is his view. It has raised that question now much more broadly when you have someone of his credibility, based on evidence, it is a
making a judgment of that kind, it is a very serious comment.That judgment was made late last year.That's right, when in fact it was earlier.Excuse me.Excuse me Senator O'Sullivan.Do you share the view, Professor, we are torturing the children? You don't need to answer that.She will when my time comes.You can wait to be a pig then.That's outrageous. That's outrageous.Senator Hanson-Young, good recovery from yesterday's bashing that you got over the 5-year-old. We really do need some balance in this.Excuse me.Senator Collins, your go.I think a comment like that in relation to the abuse and assault of children, Senator McDonald, is even beyond you. It is beneath you. I'm sorry but - as the chair -You had the relevant department here and you were proved to be peddling lies and trying to recover in regards to your position.I'm sorry, but you are the most biased chair.You know lies is in unparliamentary.I said peddling lies.Peddling mistruths.I ask you to withdraw.Peddling mistruths. I'm not sure what the difference is.Intent.This was the issue yesterday with the relevant department -And the Human Rights Commission -You should have taken notice of the relevant department giving factual evidence about conditions -You are a joke! Tempering fraying there. It is only day two of four for the estimates hearings. Over in another committee, it wasn't the stopping of boats but the building of them that was attracting attention. Australia's future ship building projects have come under scrutiny. Labor's Senate leader Penny Wong has been questioning ASC, the Adelaide-based ship builder. Her starting point was Tony Abbott's announcement as Prime Minister in August last year that Australia would enter a $40 billion ship building program with much of it centred on Adelaide. We will hear that in a moment. But Penny Wong was told by ASC executives that if one fleet, known as the OPVs, or offshore patrol boats, are not built in Adelaide, then the valley of death will be very deep in Adelaide. Executives told her the workforce could shrink to as little as 100 in 2018. But after they said that, the shutters went up, there appeared to be a retreat and great frustration followed. Yes, it means that some $40 billion is going to be spent substantially onshore. Yes, it means that, from 2020 onwards, we will have a build-up to about 2500 workers employed continuous ly in surface naval ship building here in Australia. Most of them will be in Adelaide because Adelaide is where the major ship building infrastructure is.Mr Wylie, what did you understand the phrase "Centred in SA" to mean? Um ... (Long pause) I think the way I took it was I think government were considering SA as being an option for the future.An option for the future? Yes.But it wasn't your understanding or Mr L a would be
amar's from his evidence there would be anything other than a competitive process.I assumed a competitive process.There were no guarantees for ASC in that? There hasn't been guarantees for anything.If there isn't any engagement by ASC in the OPB work you will see potentially very substantial job losses in the ship building of ASC.That's correct.I thought your evidence was, in the absence of any OPB work, you would be facing around 1300 additional job losses by the end of 2018? I can go back and read the Hansard. I am talking about his earlier evidence, Minister.Just to be clear, as what I mentioned before is we there is
are on a steady decline so there is nothing that's going to avoid us getting to several hundred.I will ask you that question next. You are answering a different question.He is responding. Have another go at it.Mr Lamar is answering precisely the question you are asking.Can I finish? We will do it that way around.It is not going to give you the answer you want.You are all anticipating something I'm not doing. I wish everybody would stop being so sensitive. I can get Hansard to re-read your evidence back at you. I am trying to make sure we summarise it. I beg your pardon? Sorry? Would you like me to get Hansard to go back? I don't think that's necessary. What you asked me before -Can I finish? I am not asking about even if we get the OPBs what happens to the workforce, I am asking a different question, in the absence of ASC getting any OPB work -This implies that is relevant. This is the key part of Mr Lamar's evidence you suggest. You are suggesting the OPB procurement is relevant to the ramp down. What Mr Lamar is telling you is it is not.This is unbelievable. Chair, I am going to ask Hansard, I will ask for a private meeting, we will get Hansard to re-read his evidence back and get him to confirm it.It is not necessary.We want a private meeting.I it is not necessary.We are asking for a private meeting.We will suspend now and have a private meeting.The upshot of all of that is not only uncertainty about the trajectory of the jobs at ASC but ASC executives will be back before estimates in half an hour to try and clear that up. What is it about Parliament that makes Senators so wary about the concept of chill? They are unfamiliar with it as we learnt at estimates today. SBS's managing director Michael Ebeid was at the table. He was quizzed about a digital music channel SBS runs. It is called SBS Chill. We discovered a few things about it. One, is the Communications Minister is an 80s music fan and has never tuned in to ABS Chill.A different issue all together, digital radio station call ed Chill, can you explain to the committee why SBS would be investing in this space? Unwind with Chill 2. A relaxing collection of global tracks as heard on SBS Chill.I'm just pleased the Senator is aware of SBS Chill and listen to it.Does it do 80s music? No.I don't think there is a future for this.SBS Chill has a good audience but the cost to SBS is absolutely minimal. It is not a big cost at all. We are talking very small dollars for a digital radio station that is just a It
digital jukebox in many ways. It is a digital channel.Limited human resources involved? Actually very limited. Probably less than .2 of a person or something.Is it mood music? Yeah, just chilled lounge sort of music. You might put it on while you are having a dinner party at home for example.He has not got time to do dinner parties.It is music for after dark? After dark, yes. Whilst you are waiting for the divisional bells to ring to put you into a good mood.Music you can vote by. Some Senators could well do with some chill as we have seen from estimates today. We are going to be back at 2 o'clock for Question Time. No doubt that's where Labor will continue to ask questions about Stuart Robert and to see whether they can get more in the way of answers than they did yesterday but we are going to wrap up on Capital Hill for now and hand back to Ros and her team in Sydney to update you on other news of the day. Ros.Thanks, Greg. An update on American politics now, the US presidential hopefuls have crisscrossed a snowy New Hampshire ahead of tomorrow's primary. Donald Trump and self-described Left Wing socialist Bernie Sanders are ahead in the polls but Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton are fighting hard to narrow their lead. Zoe Daniel reports from New Hampshire.73-year-old Jim Wilson has been following Marco Rubio around the country in this little van for weeks.Four oil changes, whatever that amounts to.In the name of his grandkids, Wilson followed hopeful Mitt Romney around 44 States in 2012. This time he is with the man who looks like the choice of the Republican establishment.Rubio I believe can best unify the party and I general
believe he can best win the general election.It is a line direct from Marco Rubio who today was talking defence of a way of life.It will either be the year we remain on the road we are on now and it will be a year where this country rediscovered all the things that made her great.Polls have Donald Trump as many as 21 points up on Rubio and Iowa victor Ted Cruz here. After a second place last week, he needs to win to confirm he is a true contender.I'm not asking for your money, I'm asking for your vote. This is like a destiny thing. We have a movement going on, we are going to take back our country.On the home stretch, the Clintons New
are hungry to notch up a win in New Hampshire.I heard this was