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Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Page: 80


Mr SWAN (2:42 PM) —My question is to the Treasurer. I again refer the Treasurer to his Waters Edge dinner with three senior journalists in 2005. Can the Treasurer confirm that his press secretary contacted the journalists the day after the dinner and sought to have the dinner conversations placed off the record?


Mr COSTELLO (Treasurer) —What I can confirm is that in 17 years of politics I have had many conversations with journalists off the record. This is well known in Australia. I would be very, very happy if all of the off-the-record comments of the member for Lilley were put out in the public domain, and I challenge journalists to do that.

Honourable members interjecting—


Mr COSTELLO —He is very quiet at this moment. Let’s see if we can warm him up. He has got seven questions; he needs to ask another three about this issue before he can move to his censure. Let me give him a word of warning: you normally start off soft and come home strong, but you have started off a bit strong and you are coming home soft. So let me see if I can warm him up. I will warm him up by tabling the Australian of 20 November 2000, which carried an article headlined ‘I paid poll rival, says Labor MP’. The article states:

Labor frontbencher and Queensland power broker, Wayne Swan, has admitted—


Mr Albanese —Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order on relevance.


The SPEAKER —I am listening carefully to the Treasurer’s answer. I call the Treasurer.


Mr COSTELLO —It is very relevant, because I am working him up to his crescendo for the censure. He was failing in his attack and I just want to work him up. I table the Australian.