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31       Ministerial standards

Pursuant to order ( see entry no. 35, 6 February 2020 ), the question was put on the motion—That the Senate—

(a)              notes the Morrison Government's consistent failure in 2019 and 2020 to uphold its own Statement of Ministerial Standards or to be an open, transparent and accountable government in line with the expectations of the Australian community on matters, including:

(i)                    Prime Minister Morrison’s failure to act for over a fortnight on the AuditorĀ­-General’s scathing report into the Community Sports Infrastructure program, overseen by former Minister McKenzie,

(ii)                  Prime Minister Morrison’s failure to release his former political chief of staff’s advice on Minister McKenzie’s breach of the Ministerial Standards,

(iii)                the cloud hanging over former Minister Canavan following his failure to declare a potential conflict of interest in his portfolio,

(iv)                Prime Minister Morrison’s failure to explain the ongoing criminal investigation by New South Wales Police, encompassing the use of the fraudulent document by Minister Taylor, referred to the Australian Federal Police in December 2019,

(v)                  Prime Minister Morrison’s inappropriate contact with the New South Wales Police Commissioner regarding a criminal investigation into a member of his Cabinet, the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Mr Taylor,

(vi)                Prime Minister Morrison’s refusal to confirm whether he invited the head of the Hillsong Church, Pastor Brian Houston, to a state dinner in Washington DC,

(vii)              Prime Minister Morrison’s refusal to uphold his own ministerial standards for former Ministers Pyne and Bishop,

(viii)            Prime Minister Morrison’s refusal to require Ms Gladys Liu, MP, to make a full and frank statement to the Parliament,

(ix)                Minister Taylor’s and Minister Frydenberg’s involvement in the ‘grasslands’ affair,

(x)                  Minister Taylor’s use of falsified information in correspondence to the Lord Mayor of Sydney,

(xi)                Minister Porter’s appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal,

(xii)              Minister Hunt’s awarding of MRI licences in South Australia, and

(xiii)            Minister Dutton’s awarding of the $423 million Paladin contract; and

(b)              expresses its disappointment in the Morrison Government’s ongoing disregard for its Statement of Ministerial Standards, the conventions of our parliamentary system of government, and the expectations of the Australian community for integrity and accountability in government.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 34

Senators—

Ayres

Gallagher

O’Neill

Smith, Marielle

Bilyk

Griff

Patrick

Steele-John

Brown

Hanson

Polley

Sterle

Carr

Hanson-Young

Pratt

Urquhart

Chisholm

Kitching

Rice

Walsh

Ciccone

Lambie

Roberts

Waters

Di Natale

McAllister

Sheldon

Watt

Dodson

McCarthy*

Siewert

Whish-Wilson

Faruqi

McKim

 

 

 

NOES, 30

Senators—

Abetz

Davey

McLachlan

Reynolds

Askew

Duniam

McMahon

Ruston

Birmingham

Henderson

Molan

Ryan

Bragg

Hughes

O’Sullivan

Scarr

Brockman

Hume

Paterson

Smith, Dean*

Canavan

McDonald

Payne

Stoker

Chandler

McGrath

Rennick

Van

Colbeck

McKenzie

 

* Tellers

Question agreed to.