Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is again addressed to the Prime Minister. Today Commissioner Fuller said his conversation with the Prime Minister was 'an extremely short conversation in that he just wanted confirmation we were conducting an investigation'. But the Prime Minister told the House that they spoke 'about the instigation, the nature and the substance of their inquiries'. How does the Prime Minister reconcile his account to the parliament with Commissioner Fuller's public statement about the nature of their conversation?
Mr Husic interjecting—
I stand by all the statements I've made on this matter. I note that in the same press conference a journalist asked the police commissioner today, 'Did the Prime Minister asked to be kept updated by you?' He said: 'No, not at all. I gave him an assurance we would move the matter as quickly as possible, and I didn't say that because of any particular person.' This is what he went on to say: 'To be honest with you, these types of investigations can consume an enormous amount of resources from New South Wales police and they are a great diverter of my time.' The police commissioner said that. That's what the police commissioner in New South Wales said.
The Leader of the Opposition seems a little confused that I called the police commissioner—
Mr Marles interjecting —
Ms Plibersek interjecting —
Government members interjecting —
Thank you, Mr Speaker. As I told the House four times yesterday I was going to talk to the New South Wales police, I don't know who they thought I was going to call. Did they think I was going to call the parking infringements officer at the Sutherland police station? Maybe I was going to call the water police, or the dog squad, or perhaps the commander of the police band! But I spoke to the police commissioner because I needed to know, to exercise my responsibilities both to this House and under the ministerial standards, to exercise the assessment that is required of me on those matters. That's what I said I would do and that's what I did. I have reported it back to this House. I think that sets out the matter pretty clearly.
Ms Kearney interjecting—
Mr Pasin interjecting—
Mr Giles interjecting—