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
Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1832

Ministerial Code of Conduct

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:37): My question is to the Prime Minister. In Senate estimates, during question time, it has been revealed that on 21 February the Prime Minister asked the secretary of his department to provide advice on whether the member for New England had breached ministerial standards. This was nine days after the Prime Minister was first asked about ministerial standards in parliament. What prompted the Prime Minister to seek this advice then? What changed last Wednesday that caused the Prime Minister to initiate this inquiry?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:38): The matter of compliance with ministerial standards is one I take very, very seriously. Advice on ministerial standards is given to me by the secretary of my department. Dr Martin Parkinson is currently the secretary—and he is doing an outstanding job. I requested that he provide that advice on 21 February. There were constant claims that the member for New England had been in breach of the statement of ministerial standards, but no particulars were being given. It was appropriate, and I discussed with the member for New England, the deputy Prime Minister at the time, that this work would be undertaken. It was undertaken by the secretary. He has written to me today. I will quote his letter. He said:

In light of Mr Joyce's decision to step down from the ministry, I have concluded that there is little to be gained from continuing this investigation.

The secretary adds:

I note, however, that the audit into the use of travel and travel related expenses by Mr Joyce and Ms Campion by the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority is ongoing.