Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Questions without Notice
I have dealt with these matters publicly.
Opposition members: No!
Before the dirt team starts catcalling, let us be very clear here. I have dealt with these allegations publicly and I can guarantee that what the Deputy Leader of the Opposition refers to was not to my benefit and did not pay for renovations at my home. This is smear, pure and simple. What the Deputy Leader of the Opposition said in her question before—the allegation there about clothing—was smear, pure and simple.
Opposition members: Not clothing!
Well, the allegation about whatever the—
Ms Julie Bishop interjecting—
There is no amount of screaming that makes this falsehood true. I have answered this clearly and publicly on the public record now since 1995. I paid for the renovations at my home. This is smear, pure and simple.
Let us see how the opposition has put this smear, pure and simple, together. First, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition has spent time with a man who has said he believes he is guilty of fraud and is looking for immunity from that fraud as well as a series of other assertions about his conduct that he himself has made that would make you wonder why the Deputy Leader of the Opposition would spend time with such a person. Then the Deputy Leader of the Opposition today has referred to an affidavit from Bob Kernohan. It is a matter of longstanding public record that this affidavit was drawn up by John Pasquarelli of One Nation. So there we have the Deputy Leader of the Opposition meeting with a man who, on his own admission, is guilty of fraud, and there is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition coming into this parliament and relying on the work of One Nation for smear, pure and simple.
Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The matters that the Prime Minister is going to have absolutely nothing to do with the question she was asked, which was about the $10,000 paid to K Spyridis. She was asked if it was for her home renovations.
The Manager of Opposition Business will remove that folder and not use it as a prop for the rest of question time, because otherwise we are just going to have childish antics for the rest of the afternoon. The Prime Minister has the call.
I have answered the question. It is absolutely right—childish antics, sleaze and smear, because we are dealing with an opposition with not one policy for the nation's future, a man who is incapable of generating a policy for the nation's future and a man who does not have the guts to front this sleaze campaign himself.
Madam Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. I refer the Prime Minister to her previous answer. Can the Prime Minister explain why Mr Spyridis would go to AWU offices in Melbourne in 1995 demanding payment for work he did on her home renovations if he believed she was paying for the renovations herself?
On the point of order, Madam Speaker: the question arises directly out of the answer the Prime Minister gave to the previous question, about her home renovations, and the believability of that answer when she claimed she paid for them herself. Why would the builder go to the AWU offices to ask for payment?
Thank you very much, Speaker. This matter is dealt with on the transcript of the internal review of Slater & Gordon from September 1995. So, if the Deputy Leader of the Opposition wants the answer to this question, read that transcript, where the matter is dealt with extensively, clearly and truthfully. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition is in here engaged in smear in matters that have been clarified on the public record and in the public domain for some time now, and no amount of shaking of heads or pretence from people sitting on the front bench makes it anything other than that.
In August, through a press conference with the press gallery, one of the longest press conferences ever held in the nation's history by a Prime Minister, I answered questions going to this matter, which was then on the public record because the transcript from the Slater & Gordon interview was on the public record. Here is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition without one shred of proof, without one reason to doubt what is in the public record on this matter—not one shred of proof, not one thing available to her which enables her to raise a realistic doubt about what I said in that 1995 transcript. This is truly pathetic.