Monday, 3 June 2013
In question time today, the Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Competiveness, claimed that I said in an interview that the coalition had an agreement with Indonesia over border protection matters, as reported in an early version of The Guardian online. This was also referred to later, during the suspension motion by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
The claim that I said the coalition had an agreement with Indonesia is not true. At no time did I say in an interview with The Guardian online or in any other interview that the coalition had either negotiated or reached an agreement with Indonesia. Indeed, I said repeatedly in that interview that the coalition in opposition cannot reach agreements with foreign governments. After I contacted The Guardian online, it has withdrawn its original headline and has now included a paragraph that stated:
Bishop emphasised it was not possible to reach any agreement with a foreign government from Opposition and no formal agreement with Indonesia had been reached.
I have stated on numerous occasions that the coalition has not reached an agreement and I seek leave to table the press release I put out this morning headed 'Guardian beat up'.
Leave not granted.