House debates

Thursday, 10 May 2012


Member for Dobell

3:00 pm

Photo of Christopher PyneChristopher Pyne (Sturt, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training) Share this | Hansard source

The reason why standing orders need to be suspended is that the Prime Minister in question time today was given the opportunity on at least two occasions to outline what she and her office knew about the arrangements with the New South Wales Labor Party and she absolutely declined to do so. She came up with a form of words about how it was not her responsibility, her staff's responsibility or the department's responsibility. But she was not asked about whose responsibility it was; she was asked what she knew about these arrangements and whether she could guarantee that no member of her office was involved in the arrangements between the member for Dobell and the New South Wales Labor Party.

Those of us who have been in this House for some time know exactly why the Prime Minister declined—because the answer was that she could not guarantee that her office was not involved in these arrangements with the New South Wales Labor Party. She knew what we all know, and that is that this has been part of the protection racket around the member for Dobell for three years. F or three years the Labor Party has been paying the legal fees of the member for Dobell. In other words, this illegitimate government—which relies on the cross-benchers, made up of disgruntled coalition members of parliament, former, disgraced Labor members of parliament, a green Independent and another Independent—are clinging to power by paying the legal fees of the member for Dobell to stave off his inevitable bankruptcy. They admitted it in the paper two years ago and they admitted it today in the News Ltd press.

Mark Latham showed that he certainly knows his political party when he said:

The tragedy for progressive politics is that there are scores of Craig Thomsons across the labour movement. He is the cultural norm, not an isolated peccadillo.

The party that gave us Tom Domican has now given us Craig Thomson. It is a matter for the parliament to consider, because nothing could be more important—


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