House debates

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Questions without Notice

Banking and Financial Services

2:53 pm

Photo of Clare O'NeilClare O'Neil (Hotham, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Justice) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Assistant Treasurer. The Assistant Treasurer is responsible for financial services, including the big banks. Since he became Assistant Treasurer, how many victims of financial misconduct has he met with? Or does the Assistant Treasurer only share his ministerial assessments with LNP donors? And will he now cancel his attendance at the event advertised for 19 December?

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The Prime Minister on a point of order—or the Leader of the House?

Photo of Christopher PyneChristopher Pyne (Sturt, Liberal Party, Leader of the House) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Speaker, it's the same point of order that I made yesterday. The minister is not responsible for the banks; that is the responsibility of the Treasurer—

Photo of Clare O'NeilClare O'Neil (Hotham, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Justice) Share this | | Hansard source

He's the minister for financial services.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Hotham is warned. I've made very clear that I'm going to hear points of order without interruption. She's lucky she's still in the chamber to hear the answer, if there is one.

Photo of Christopher PyneChristopher Pyne (Sturt, Liberal Party, Leader of the House) Share this | | Hansard source

He's also not responsible for the royal commission; the Treasurer is responsible for that as well. So, in the same way that the question yesterday was out of order, I think the question today is out of order.

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Manager of Opposition Business (House)) Share this | | Hansard source

The Assistant Treasurer is responsible for financial services, which certainly do affect the banks. The question as to whether he's been meeting the victims and who he meets with is, I would suggest, entirely in order for any minister to be asked—whether they've met with particular people. And the question goes to different categories of those people. It starts with victims of misconduct and then asks about LNP donors—whether he meets with those—and then asks about his diary and a future event that he's been advertised as attending.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

Let's start at the end and work backwards. The Manager of Opposition Business won't be surprised to know that the last part of the question is completely out of order. Asking ministers things that aren't their responsibility, whether they're attending a fundraiser or going through their diary, is completely out of order. I made that point yesterday, and I'm not going to allow questions to wilfully keep restating it so that I then have to make exactly the same ruling. That is completely out of order.

When it comes to the part about whether he has met with bank victims from the royal commission, he's not responsible for the royal commission. The only part of the question that may well be in order is the part about his responsibilities as Assistant Treasurer with respect to financial services, but even in that case I make the point that as the Assistant Treasurer he's not the primary minister—that, in fact, is the Treasurer, who has overall responsibility. If someone wants to tell me I'm wrong on any of that, I'm happy to hear—

An honourable member interjecting

One point I'm very certain of from all the time I have been in this place is that assistant treasurers are subordinate to treasurers—sorry, Assistant Treasurer, but they are. Yes, Manager of Opposition Business?

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Manager of Opposition Business (House)) Share this | | Hansard source

There's only one thing to clarify. The question was framed specifically about victims of financial misconduct, not with reference to the royal commission.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

There's so much of it that's out of order that I'm going to rule it out of order and allow you a chance to redraft it.