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Thursday, 21 June 2007
Page: 1

Mr ALBANESE (9:01 AM) —I move:

That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the House from noting with alarm that the Attorney-General has refused to provide details of the secret taxpayer funded political unit operation out of his ministerial office at 70 Phillip Street, Sydney, including:

(1)   the date of the secret unit’s establishment;

(2)   the annual cost to taxpayers of the secret unit’s operation;

(3)   the secret unit’s full staffing arrangements;

(4)   the secret unit’s reporting arrangements;

(5)   the function of the secret unit including its monitoring of non-government media comment and other activities;

(6)   the relationship between the secret unit and the taxpayer funded government members secretariat—

Mrs Bronwyn Bishop —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. You previously ruled and made comment upon the members opposite taking advantage of moving a motion to in fact make a speech and to place debate material in the course of moving the motion. That is against the standing orders, and you have made comment on this before. It is also commented upon in the Practice, and I would ask you to ask them to shorten it.

The SPEAKER —I note the point raised by the member for Mackellar. I believe that the Manager for Opposition Business is so far certainly within normal practice. I am sure that he will come to his motion.

Mr ALBANESE —I continue:

(7)   the relationship between the secret unit and other taxpayer funded units operating out of other ministerial offices;

(8)   the relationship between the secret unit and the federal secretariat of the Liberal Party;

(9)   the relationship between the secret unit and Crosby Textor; and

(10)   the reason that the existence of this unit has been kept secret from the Australian Parliament and the Australian people.

Further, that the House calls on the Attorney-General to provide details of the operation of this unit.

He is right here in the chamber. He should come clean—the man responsible for ‘kids overboard’.