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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 2918

Day, Mr Bob, AO

Mr BURKE (WatsonManager of Opposition Business) (14:27): My question is to the Prime Minister. The Special Minister of State has today told the Senate that he informed the Prime Minister's office on 18 August this year that there was a potential issue under section 44 of the Constitution in relation to former Senator Day. On what date was the Prime Minister personally aware of this information?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:28): As the Special Minister of State observed in his document, shortly thereafter, and my recollection is that it was several days thereafter, he advised me that he had spoken to my chief of staff in those terms, and I will read what he says: 'I informed the office of the Prime Minister by telephone call to his chief of staff'—this is on 18 August—'that there was an issue with respect to the electorate office of Senator Day. There were potential issues about which I had contacted the Attorney-General. I was seeking advice, and if this matter was raised it was to be referred to me.' Senator Ryan goes on to say: 'I subsequently mentioned to the Prime Minister that I had a conversation with his chief of staff, outlined the terms of that conversation, and that matters relating to this were to be referred to me.' And that is consistent with my recollection too.