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Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Page: 7465


Senator LEYONHJELM (New South Wales) (15:50): I oppose the contingent motion and oppose the material motion of Senator Carr. The reason I did so is not because I oppose the release of documents; I normally support the release of documents and I think my voting record would confirm that unequivocally. The issue here is that it involves the release of a report primarily between the consultant engaged by the former minister for education and the crossbench. The crossbench has not seen the report—

Senator Kim Carr: You will this way; vote for it.

The PRESIDENT: Order!

Senator LEYONHJELM: and the discussions with the consultant by the crossbench were not at any stage considered to be liable for public release. We were all under the impression—

Senator Kim Carr: This is the man for disclosure.

Senator LEYONHJELM: You may not care about your discussions being put into the public domain, but, bear in mind, what goes around comes around.

I have no problem with the contract being released in the public domain, but I think it is just sheer decency that we—the people who are consulted by this consultant in the context of that engagement by the previous minister for education—at least know what on earth it is we are reported to have said when we made comments about people in this place, ministers and other members of the government—and even whether it was accurate or not. That is the purpose of opposing this. I think it is a perfectly legitimate expectation that we at least know what is coming before it is released.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you, Senator Leyonhjelm. The question is that the motion to suspend standing orders be agreed to.