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Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Page: 3347

Day, Mr Bob, AO


Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:24): My question is again to the Prime Minister. I refer to the previous answer from the minister in relation to the $1.84 million grant to a college linked to former Senator Day. Given that this $1.84 million grant was almost half a million dollars more than was requested by the college, that it was awarded without any open procurement process and that it was informed by a report co-authored by Liberal Party politicians, is this really normal process for your government?


Mr PYNE (SturtLeader of the House and Minister for Defence Industry) (14:25): It is remarkable to be lectured by the Labor Party on fiscal rectitude. This is the Labor Party, who were responsible for the home insulation program, colloquially called the pink batts program, which was responsible for killing people.

Ms Plibersek interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Sydney will cease interjecting.

Mr PYNE: The home insulation program was responsible for the deaths of young Australians. They were put in danger in the ceilings of homes in Australia because of the Labor Party's pink batts program. And this party dares to lecture us about the delivery of programs. You should hang your heads in shame. You should be embarrassed to come into this House and ask us, who are fixing up the mess of the six years of the Gillard-Rudd government, questions to do with fiscal rectitude.

Mr Swan interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Lilley used an unparliamentary term that I heard clearly. He will withdraw.

Mr Swan: I will not withdraw. I will not be lectured to by that minister in that way.

The SPEAKER: The member for Lilley will leave under 94(a).

The member for Lilley then left the chamber.

Mr Dutton interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection will be following, if he interjects, on the member for Lilley.

The SPEAKER: The member for Sydney on a point of order.

Ms Plibersek: Well, it is a point of order on relevance. It would be great if the minister began to address the process that was gone through to award this grant.

The SPEAKER: I have been listening to the minister. The minister is in order.

Ms Plibersek: Mr Speaker—

The SPEAKER: If the member for Sydney wishes to argue with me, she will not be in the chamber. I am not going to debate these points of order endlessly. I will hear them, I will rule and we will move on. And I remind the member for Sydney that she has already been warned and there has been a general warning issued.

Mr PYNE: Of course, I was commenting on the delivery of programs, about which I was asked, and proper processes. As the shadow minister for education during the Rudd government, I saw firsthand how the school hall program was rolled out by the then minister, Julia Gillard. It was a $16 billion program whereby school halls were built next door to other school halls, whereby school halls in country towns were built next to town halls that had been used for over 100 years for school assemblies—money pushed out the door.

To respond specifically to the question from the member for Sydney, the North East Vocational College received exactly the same grant as the four other colleges in the pilot program—exactly the same grant. The minister, Senator Birmingham, did exactly what was required of him in his responsibilities. The department fulfilled its responsibilities. Therefore, the premise of the member's question is false.