House debates

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Questions without Notice

Day, Mr Bob, AO

3:06 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. Yesterday and today the Prime Minister confirmed that he has been aware that, for every single day of the 45th Parliament, the composition of the Senate was potentially illegitimate. Why did the Prime Minister decide to keep this information secret from the Australian people? Surely, the Australian people have a right to know that there was doubt over whether the composition of the Australian Senate was constitutional.

3:07 pm

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

I have answered this question previously. The Special Minister of State proceeded deliberately, responsibly; he fastidiously got to the bottom of the factual context; and he sought legal advice, as he should. The suggestion that the Special Minister of State should have gone off half-cocked without knowing the facts, without knowing the law—that is the sort of incompetence you would expect from a Labor government.