House debates

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Questions without Notice

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction

2:42 pm

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. When members of his government were the subject of a police investigation, John Howard said the following: 'I told my colleagues that the Federal Police should be allowed to carry out this investigation without let or hindrance from me or anybody in the federal government.' Given John Howard's example, why did the Prime Minister call the New South Wales Police Commissioner and, according to him, discuss the substance of the criminal investigation?

2:43 pm

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I have already answered this matter as to the purpose of my making the call to the New South Wales Police Commissioner, and that was to inform myself of the investigation that, it had been reported to me in this place, had been led. I informed myself of those matters—

Photo of Tanya PlibersekTanya Plibersek (Sydney, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Education and Training) Share this | | Hansard source

You put out a statement. Why don't you read the statement?

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

The member for Sydney!

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I had a conversation with the Police Commissioner. I note that the Commissioner has said today:

The Prime Minister didn't ask me any questions that were inappropriate, he didn't ask for anything that was inappropriate and I'm comfortable with the discussion that we had … over a few minutes.

It's important under the statement of ministerial standards because, as Prime Minister, I have to make assessments about how they apply in these circumstances when investigations of this matter arise. So I informed myself of those matters—as I told this House I would and then went and did—and then reported back to this House as I should have.