Wednesday, 25 October 2017
Questions without Notice
Australian Federal Police
My question is to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm his government has sent in the AFP to raid parliamentary offices during an election campaign because the failings of his second-rate NBN were exposed, referred Queensland Labor to the Australian Federal Police over a text message that upset him, and yesterday sent in the AFP to look at a 10-year-old donation to GetUp!? Why does this government leave the AFP with no choice but to take police resources needed to fight drug syndicates and divert them to protect the political interests of a born-to-rule Prime Minister?
No, the Leader of the House will just pause for a second. The member for Lindsay will leave under 94(a).
The member for Lindsay then left the chamber.
Before I call the Leader of the House: I've made it clear—those who are waving goodbye might be following.
I put it to you that the question is not in order, because it clearly contains mistakes by saying that the government sent an independent agency in, suggesting that we somehow direct the AFP to launch raids on any offices. That is clearly not true, and I'm not sure how it can be in order to state a mistruth in the question and then expect the Prime Minister to respond to it. I think, therefore, it should be reworded or ruled out of order and, if they're looking for hereditary members of parliament, they should look on the Labor side, because that's where most of them have been over the last few decades.
This issue's come up before. In a nutshell, when it comes to both questions and answers, the Speaker is not the arbiter of the truth—can't be. That's a matter that can be addressed by the person responding to the question. In allowing the question to go ahead, the Speaker does not verify the factual accuracy of the question or, for that matter, the answer. There's been a 30-second question. If it's felt that it contains factual inaccuracies, there are three minutes now for that to be responded to, and I've addressed that before, as did Speaker Andrew in some detail many years ago. I should point out the member for McEwen is warned, of course. I just should point out, of course, that, through the course of the answer, the Prime Minister is entitled to address all of those matters and when these sorts of questions are allowed there shouldn't, as I indicated earlier, be complaints with the answer itself. The Prime Minister has the call.
It was bad enough to see John Setka attacking the integrity of the AFP—bad enough to see the way in which he flaunted his and his union's defiance of the law. Then it was even worse when we saw the member for Gorton echoing that disrespect, that contempt for the law last night. But now we see the member for Watson standing up here in the parliament and stating what he knows to be utterly untrue, alleging that the Federal Police does the political bidding of the government. That is a shocking allegation against the Federal Police. It's a shocking allegation against the government. But above all it impugns the integrity and the professionalism of the men and women of the Federal Police who work so hard to keep us safe. Labor should be ashamed of themselves.