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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 14689

Special Minister of State

Mr DREYFUS (IsaacsDeputy Manager of Opposition Business) (14:22): My question is to the Special Minister of State. I refer to the minister's answers and statements in the House concerning his 60 Minutes interview with Liz Hayes. On 30 July 2012 on ABC radio, the minister was asked about the same issue: 'You're comfortable receiving material from someone else's diary?' and the minister responded, 'Absolutely.' Is conduct of this nature consistent with the standards this government applies?

Ms Plibersek: Or were you misquoted?

The SPEAKER: The member for Sydney will cease interjecting.

Ms Plibersek interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Sydney will cease interjecting. The minister has the call.

Mr BROUGH (FisherMinister for Defence Materiel and Science and Special Minister of State) (14:23): For two weeks we have been trawling over the member for Isaacs going through material that has all been in the Federal Court, so let me outline everything for him again. All of the material of any consequence to this matter—Ashby-Slipper—that involves me has been in the Federal Court. It is a matter of public knowledge. And it has been there for a very long time.

Ms King: Why did the Prime Minister appoint you then?

The SPEAKER: The member for Ballarat is warned!

Mr BROUGH: Everything that the member for Isaacs has raised today, or in the last two weeks, has been dealt with comprehensively by the Federal Court.

Ms MacTiernan interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Perth will leave under 94(a).

The member for Perth then left the chamber .

Mr BROUGH: Mr Speaker, I would like to table several paragraphs from the judgement of the Federal Court of 27 February 2014 dealing with my entire involvement. I would encourage the member for Isaacs to review that, to come back to the dispatch box and to point out anywhere at all where the Federal Court has found anything other than that I acted totally appropriately.

Mr Bowen interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for McMahon is warned!

Mr BROUGH: Secondly, let me deal with misleading the House. I can confirm—and I again reconfirm to the House—that I have not misled this House at all this week—

Opposition members interjecting

Mr BROUGH: or last week, or at any time.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Members on my left!

Mr BROUGH: The last two weeks, the last 12 years—where would you like me to go? Despite the best efforts of the member for Isaacs to prosecute this case in this place, this country fortunately has very substantive ways—they are called courts, judicial systems and police forces—who are empowered to do those things. As you know right now, the Australian Federal Police have a wide-ranging investigation into issues of which they have asked me for assistance.

Mr Bowen interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for McMahon has been warned.

Mr BROUGH: I have provided them that assistance. I have said to them, 'At any time in the future, if I can assist in those inquiries I will do so.' So I say to the member for Isaacs: you do not accept the full bench of the Federal Court's findings—and I am pleased to see they are being handed to you now, and I hope you take the time between now and your next question to review them. I would also say to you: pay some respect to the Australian Federal Police, because there are others in this place that sit across this chamber who have had the unfortunate circumstances to have been looked upon, and no-one tried to prosecute the case in here. So I would say: please respect those processes. I remain at the disposal of the Australian Federal Police or any other authority or system as and when they require. (Time expired)