Monday, 14 October 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to reports in TheWall Street Journal that the Prime Minister was determined to bring Brian Houston to the White House, with several rounds of discussions between Canberra and Washington before the White House vetoed the idea. Why won't the Prime Minister give a straight answer to this question? Did the Prime Minister or his office seek to have Brian Houston invited to the White House?
I refer the member to my previous answer about how invitations are issued. It is not my practice to go around commenting on the unsourced reports and just respond to the rumours that go around this place. The member opposite might want to engage in that, but if the member opposite wants to make comments about the individual in question and—
Mr Brendan O'Connor interjecting—
The Leader of the Opposition might want to familiarise himself a little with the Practice in that regard. The Prime Minister only has to be directly relevant to the question. He doesn't have to answer it in the way in which the questioner might—
Mr Albanese interjecting—
Interjecting on me is a more perilous thing, I just say to the Leader of the Opposition. The Prime Minister is being directly relevant to the question. The Prime Minister has the call.
I responded to the question, but I do ask, in the way that the question's being put to this House, that if they're suggesting anything serious or casting any aspersions on the individual who is the subject of the question then I suggest that they perhaps go and attend that church and explain their concerns directly to the parishioners.