House debates

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Questions without Notice


2:38 pm

Photo of Bill ShortenBill Shorten (Maribyrnong, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. With regard to the Prime Minister's plebiscite, what groups will be eligible for taxpayer funding and what restrictions will there be on what this funding can be spent upon?

2:39 pm

Photo of Malcolm TurnbullMalcolm Turnbull (Wentworth, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the honourable member for his question. The $7½ million will be allocated to each of two committees—one for yes and one for no, as I described. The money will be fully audited, again as it was in '99. The money will only be able to be used for advertising and research. It will have to be authorised by the respective committees and of course the members of the committees will have to take responsibility for it. There will be five members of parliament and senators on each of the committees, and the opposition has the opportunity to appoint two members to each committee if it so wishes. So there will be very clear accountability. The model, as I said, is based on '99. That is the only entity that will receive government money. Of course, other parties, as happened in '99, will no doubt advertise or advocate themselves, but the only recipients of the collective $15 million of government funding will be those two committees. Again, the precedent is very clearly and deliberately based on what happened in '99 and which worked from an administrative point of view very well in '99.