House debates

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


Member for Dobell

9:27 am

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the House) Share this | Hansard source

I will, Mr Speaker. He said:

A lot of people who are under investigation end up having nothing to answer for.

…   …   …

It's a police investigation and the appropriate thing for me to do is to let the police investigation run its course, and then, if it is appropriate, I will have something to say.

If this suspension motion is carried, it throws that process out the door completely.

We know, of course, that the mob opposite were involved in many issues that were raised over the years, but nothing happened in terms of sacking them even from senior frontbench positions. Wilson Tuckey used a ministerial letterhead to ask the South Australian police minister to review his son's conviction on a traffic charge. Do you remember Peter Reith's $50,000 phone card bill? The family and friends were making thousands of phone calls and taxpayers' money was being used, but he was not sacked over that; he was allowed to sit there. This is what Peter Reith had to say at the time on the ABC PM program: 'I did give the card to my son and I should not have done so.' And John Howard did not sack Peter Reith for misleading the public about 'children overboard'. There is a bit of a history of cards and issues being debated in the parliament. Peter Reith was allowed to sit here as a minister in the cabinet—indeed, as the Leader of the House in the cabinet—but that did not seem to matter. Also, when he was Prime Minister, John Howard did not sack someone for setting up a farm accommodation business at their original Malanda cattle farm just two days after the then Minister for Small Business and Tourism, Mr Hockey, launched a taxpayer funded ad campaign for farm stays. That was back in May 2004. Now the member for North Sydney has sought to engage in this debate. We had Alexander Downer. He said that he was ignorant about kickbacks with regard to the AWB scandal. We know that the member for Wentworth handed out $10 million to the speculative Australian Rain Corporation whose chairman, Matt Handbury, was a member of Mr Turnbull's fundraising body.

This motion before us also speaks about payments from the Labor Party to the member for Dobell. That is what this motion says.


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