Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is again addressed to the Prime Minister. Isn't it the case that when the Prime Minister called the New South Wales police commissioner, all he had in mind was his own political interest and not the national interest? Why does this Prime Minister think none of the usual rules of integrity and accountability apply to him and his government?
Mr Speaker, that was more of a smear than a question. That reflects, I think, poorly on the Leader of the Opposition in these matters, especially given this: yesterday the Leader of the Opposition made reference to this matter and asked me the very specific question, 'What action will the Prime Minister take?' Subsequently, he then referred to clause 7.1 of the ministerial standards and he asked me again, 'Prime Minister, what are you going to do to implement it?' In response to his question, I said that my actions—to ensure that I could acquit my responsibilities under the ministerial standards—were to inform myself of the matter which he had raised in this House. He actually asked me to go through this process—
Ms Ryan interjecting —
My answer to his question is that I sought to speak—and did speak—to the Commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force to specifically undertake my responsibilities both to this House and under the ministerial standards. I don't know who he thought I should have spoken to. I was very clear that I was going to talk to the New South Wales Police Force. In my answers to the questions yesterday I said I would speak to them. No objection was raised by the Leader of the Opposition then. Who did he think I'd speak to? The ambulance service? The fire brigade? I had to inform myself of the matter which he raised. So my answer to him is: you asked me to exercise these responsibilities; I exercised them and I have provided my answers clearly to this House in a way that was completely telegraphed. The Leader of the Opposition either wasn't listening or didn't care, or it didn't suit him.