Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 9826

Special Minister of State


Senator JACINTA COLLINS (Victoria) (14:09): My question is to the Minister representing the Special Minister of State, Senator Cormann. I refer to Mr Brough's statement on 60 Minutes in 2014 when asked, 'Did you ask James Ashby to procure copies of Peter Slipper's diary for you?' He confessed, 'Yes, I did.' When asked the same question in parliament yesterday, Mr Brough recanted and said, 'No.' When was the minister telling the truth—on television or in parliament?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:09): I thank Senator Collins for that question. Minister Brough has provided extensive answers to many questions in the House of Representatives on this for some time, and I do not have anything else to add.


Senator JACINTA COLLINS (Victoria) (14:10): Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. How can a minister who has misled parliament and is subject to a criminal investigation by the Australian Federal Police remain responsible for the integrity of parliamentary entitlements and our electoral system?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:10): I do not accept the premise of the question. There are processes currently underway that should be allowed to take their course.


Senator JACINTA COLLINS (Victoria) (14:10): Mr President, I ask a further supplementary question. Did the Special Minister of State tell the Prime Minister or the Minister for Finance he proposed to change his story on the James Ashby affair? Does the Minister for Finance maintain confidence in his junior minister?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:11): Minister Brough has addressed these issues in some detail, and I do not have anything further to add.

Opposition senators interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Order on my left! A point of order, Senator Wong?

Senator Wong: Mr President, my point of order is on direct relevance. The minister was not asked about what the Special Minister of State has said previously. In this question he was asked whether or not the Prime Minister or he were told that Mr Brough proposed to change his story. The Minister for Finance was also asked whether he maintained confidence in his junior minister. He has answered neither of those questions.

The PRESIDENT: Minister, have you concluded your answer? The minister has concluded his answer.