Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Questions without Notice
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction
My question is again to the Prime Minister. This morning on Sky News, Malcolm Turnbull said about the Prime Minister's phone call to the New South Wales police commissioner, 'It would have been much better if it had not been made,' because it is important the inquiry, 'is seen to be conducted entirely free of political influence.' With the benefit of hindsight, does the Prime Minister agree with Malcolm Turnbull?
Well, only those who are in possession of all the facts in relation to this matter can make any real judgement about the call that I have made. As I said yesterday, I advised the House I was going to make the contact; no objection was raised by the Leader of the Opposition yesterday, I note.
On four separate occasions, I advised this House that I would be contacting the New South Wales Police Force and, as I said, I don't know who they expected I would have otherwise called. And on not one occasion, including the Leader of the Opposition's haughty, breathless motion that he sought to bring into this House, did he make any complaint, about the matter in which he now—
I take the point that the Leader of the Opposition has made. He could have asked me any question in relation to the four times that I raised this issue in the House, but he didn't once. When he came to this dispatch box and he moved a motion about my alleged conduct in this matter—
Ms Butler interjecting—
So, frankly, it's a bit rich today that the Leader of the Opposition this morning couldn't remember four occasions yesterday—four occasions!—and he wants people to believe that he did not hear one of those references to the New South Wales police. This morning apparently I was speaking in another language, or maybe it was because of the din of the chamber and all the breathless shouting from those on the other side, that he failed to hear. But what's very clear is that the Leader of the Opposition is just not being fair dinkum about this. He is desperate in his attacks here because he knows that he's the one under pressure. He knows that he's the one who comes into this place with trumped-up claims because at the end of the day he's got nothing.
Mr Brian Mitchell interjecting—
Ms Kearney interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Lyons and the member for Cooper are warned. I'm just making that very clear to them now, in between questions.