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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Page: 12818


Mr PYNE (SturtManager of Opposition Business) (15:11): Madam Speaker, I have now decided to raise a matter of breach of privilege. I wish to raise a matter of breach of privilege in question time today, which is contempt of the parliament. In question time today the member for Mayo asked a very straightforward question to the Treasurer about a $550,000 grant to an organisation in Kenya to design a national carbon accounting system in Kenya. The Treasurer then said in a subsequent answer to a question that in fact the Clinton Foundation grant was approved by Alexander Downer, during the Howard government. He made no mention of $25 million. That was an entirely false statement. The Leader of the House then also breached the privileges of the House by misleading the parliament by tabling this document, which was supposed to prove that in fact the grant was made by Alexander Downer, during the former Howard government. In fact, it was a grant for 'Australia and Clinton Foundation join in Asia-Pacific fight against HIV/AIDS'. The $25 million—

Government members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! Do you wish to hear the Manager of Opposition Business or not?

Mr PYNE: was to be used over four years, from 2006 to 2010, with a focus on funding in Papua New Guinea, Vietnam and China. There is no mention either in this press release or in fact in the program that was established by the Howard government of any money for carbon accounting in Kenya. The Treasurer has therefore grievously misled the House and then did so again when he sought to add to that answer by pretending that he had mentioned the $25 million grant in his previous answer, which he did not.

So both the Leader of the House and the Treasurer should be referred to the Privileges Committee for misleading the parliament and therefore holding it in contempt.

The SPEAKER (15:13): I will reflect on the issue raised by the Manager of Opposition Business.