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33    Administration— Mr Don Burke—Order for production of documents

Senator Hanson-Young amended general business notice of motion no. 642 by leave and, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved—That—

               (a)       the Senate notes that:

                                     (i)       in December 2016, the celebrity gardener Mr Don Burke appeared in a Facebook video with the then Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Joyce), discussing favourably the relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority from Canberra to the Minister’s electorate, and

                                    (ii)       this video is no longer available;

               (b)       the Senate further notes that:

                                     (i)       allegations of long-term sexual harassment and abuse against prominent identities raise serious concerns about the culture of silence that has been allowed to prosper in the media industry,

                                    (ii)       the decision of any Government minister to associate with media identities facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse would call into question their capacity to responsibly execute their ministerial responsibilities,

                                  (iii)       scrubbing one’s social media of references to figures facing allegations of sexual harassment and abuse would represent an acknowledgement that the association was inappropriate in the first place, and

                                  (iv)       any member of the Government who chooses to associate with a figure whose alleged behaviour was, to quote one report, ‘an open secret for years’, cannot, for their own benefit, pick and choose when to withdraw that association; and

                (c)       there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, by no later than 6.30 pm on 8 December 2017:

                                     (i)       any documents produced by, with, or featuring celebrity gardener Mr Burke from 1 November 2016,

                                    (ii)       any advice provided to the Minister by the Department relating to social media featuring Mr Burke since 1 November 2016 and prior to 4 December 2017,

                                  (iii)       any documents relating to social media featuring the Minister and Mr Burke since 1 November 2016 and prior to 4 December 2017, and

                                  (iv)       any related documents.

Statements by leave : The Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister (Senator McGrath) and Senator Chisholm, by leave, made statements relating to the motion.

The question was divided at the request of Senator Chisholm—

Question—That paragraphs (a) and (b) of the motion be agreed to—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 11

Senators—

Bartlett

Hanson-Young

Rhiannon

Steele-John

Di Natale

McKim

Rice

Whish-Wilson

Griff

Patrick

Siewert*

 

 

 

NOES, 46

Senators—

Abetz

Collins

Ketter

Polley

Anning

Dodson

Kitching

Reynolds

Bernardi

Duniam

Leyonhjelm

Ryan

Bilyk

Farrell

Lines

Scullion

Birmingham

Fawcett

Macdonald

Seselja

Brockman

Fierravanti-Wells

McAllister

Singh

Burston

Fifield

McCarthy

Smith

Bushby

Gallacher

McGrath

Sterle

Cameron

Georgiou

McKenzie

Urquhart*

Canavan

Hanson

Moore

Watt

Cash

Hinch

Paterson

Williams

Chisholm

Hume

 

* Tellers

Question negatived.

Question—That paragraph (c) of the motion be agreed to—put and passed.