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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 14695

Special Minister of State

Mr DREYFUS (IsaacsDeputy Manager of Opposition Business) (14:41): My question is to the Special Minister of State. I refer to his previous answers about the Federal Court decisions. How can the minister claim that the Federal Court exonerated him when the full Federal Court found on 9 February 2015 about the Ashby proceeding:

There had not then been a trial of all issues. The relevant evidence had not been given, and the reliability of the witnesses had not been exposed to testing by cross-examination. In the event … that will not occur because Ashby has discontinued his proceeding.

Minister, when you claim to be exonerated, aren't you misleading the House yet again?

Mr BROUGH (FisherMinister for Defence Materiel and Science and Special Minister of State) (14:42): This is a desperate opposition. This Leader of the Opposition leads a pack who are now referring to a civil matter that I have no involvement in.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr BROUGH: You show your ignorance. This is the document relating to the appeal between Ashby and Slipper.

Mr Albanese interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Grayndler!

Mr BROUGH: The honourable member just referred to 2015. I just told you—

Mr Albanese interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Grayndler will cease interjecting.

Mr BROUGH: You people are so ignorant of the facts, and that is why you say what you do. This is the 27 February 2014 judgement. I will quote it again for the benefit of the House:

There is no evidence that Brough offered to assist either Ashby or Doane to find new careers. That Brough was prepared to consider allegations of misuse of travel entitlements in relation to Slipper and to look at evidence produced by Ashby which might support these allegations does not necessarily mean that his purpose was to harm Slipper politically.

I can go on:

Brough referred Ashby to Russell QC to give informal advice to Ashby. Russell QC’s advice was temperate and cautious. The recital of his evidence includes that he made it clear that the LNP would not help Ashby, or give him or Doane any assurances of later employment.

It goes on and on. No matter how much the member for Isaacs tries to paint a picture that does not exist—

Mr Albanese: What about the Federal Court?

The SPEAKER: The member for Grayndler is warned.

Mr BROUGH: The Federal Court found in full in regard to this matter, with a full bench. I know that pains the member for Grayndler, and I am sorry for him. In relation to the matters before the AFP, surely as a QC the member for Isaacs has enough decency to respect the processes. What is it that you are so afraid of?

Ms Owens interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Parramatta is warned!.

Mr BROUGH: You wish to prosecute this case for political purposes—you are not interested in the substantive processes of our country and respecting them.

Mr Dreyfus: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table paragraph 46 of the decision of the full Federal Court—the same judges in Ashby and Slipper No. 3, 9 February 2015, that made the earlier decision.

The SPEAKER: The member for Isaacs has made his point. Is leave granted?

Leave not granted.