Thursday, 28 November 2019
Questions without Notice
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction
My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Strike Force Garrad investigation, and to a report that just before 2 pm it took copies of correspondence and the metadata showing details of any alterations from the City of Sydney website relating to travel and the suggestions from the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction. Has the government also provided all relevant emails, documents, text messages, phone records, data, metadata and encrypted messages to the New South Wales police, and will it respond positively to— (Time expired)
As I assured the House earlier this week, the government of course will cooperate fully with the New South Wales police investigation. As I said, we will await the outcomes of that investigation and, at that time, if there are any further matters for me to consider then of course I will. The matter that I was invited to address earlier this week by the Leader of the Opposition was the application of the ministerial standards. I addressed myself to those issues in the way that I outlined to the House. That's where the matter stands now.
But I note that in the matters the Leader of the Opposition has raised with me, he has established this principle, which says that a minister—a senior member of my team—who is the subject of an investigation should immediately have to stand aside. I note that that was not a standard the Labor Party pursued when they were in government. I note that it is not a standard they have sought to apply in opposition, when members of their own front bench have been the subject of police investigation for very serious issues in the past—that has not been the cause for those members to stand aside.
I heard today that in direct response to questioning—
On direct relevance. This was a very tight question about the provision of information to the New South Wales police. The Prime Minister was straying right off the question.
I think the Prime Minister has been entitled to give some context to what was a long, but pretty specific question. I think the Prime Minister has done that, and in his remaining time, obviously, he can address the matters that were raised in the question. If he feels he needs to—I think, in fairness, he did right at the start.
I addressed those right at the very start of my answer. What is clear now is the Leader of the Opposition today was not prepared to apply the same standard that he seeks of the government to his own frontbenchers. He refused to apply this standard to his own frontbenchers. That's called a hypocrite.