Wednesday, 25 October 2017
Questions without Notice
Australian Federal Police
My question is to the Prime Minister. Yesterday it was revealed that the Federal Police did not have the resources to investigate the importation of 1.6 tonnes of cocaine, but on the very same day the Prime Minister's Registered Organisations Commission sent at least 25 AFP officers to look at a 10-year-old donation to GetUp!
How can the Prime Minister find the resources to investigate his political opponents but not the importation of— (Time expired)
The Leader of the Opposition talked about a 10-year-old donation. Is he suggesting that breaches of the law and breaches of union rules should not be investigated because they're 10 years old? That would be very convenient for the Leader of the Opposition. That would, indeed, be very convenient for the Leader of the Opposition. What we have seen from the Labor Party since that search warrant was executed is an attack on the integrity of the Australian Federal Police. This is what they know as well as we all do: the Australian Federal Police are absolutely independent in their operations. They decide who to investigate and how to investigate. That is a matter for them and so it should be. But we heard yesterday the member for Gorton say: 'The government is using the power of the state to attack its political opponents. The Prime Minister is willing to use the police like his plaything.' They are accusing the Federal Police of acting on political direction. That's what they're doing. It is very, very familiar rhetoric because this is exactly what John Setka said in that notorious speech in Melbourne when he accused the Federal Police of being a political police force and of being political henchmen of the government.
The reality is this: the Labor Party do not respect the integrity of the Federal Police. They are all too ready—
Ms Catherine King interjecting—
to accuse them of being a political police force. And, absent a few four-letter words, there is nothing in substance that differs from what the member for Gorton said yesterday and what John Setka said on his platform in Melbourne—the same denial of the rule of law; the same contempt for the rule of law; the same contempt for the independence of the police.
The question for the Leader of the Opposition is not just why the AWU gave $100,000 to an organisation whose principal objective seems to be shutting down industries in which members of the AWU work but also why he has not apologised for and disowned the outrageous attacks on the independence and the integrity of the men and women that keep us safe.
Ms Butler interjecting—