Monday, 2 December 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Attorney-General. Was the New South Wales police commissioner made aware that the Attorney-General was on the call with the Prime Minister that discussed the instigation, nature and substance of the criminal investigation into the minister for emissions reduction, Strike Force Garrad?
Yes, he was. And I note that with respect to that call he said that the Prime Minister didn't ask him any questions that were inappropriate. I also note with respect to that call that he said something else very interesting. He said that matters like the one that was referred by the shadow Attorney-General are, in his words, 'a great diverter of my time'. And of course the question goes to the nature of the interaction, so let's have a look at some interactions.
Opposition members interjecting—
They don't like this, do they? Let's have a look at some of the interactions. How many political referrals to police in Australia do you think you need where nothing comes of them before it starts to look like a negative time-wasting interaction with the police? Two? Four? Six? Eight? The shadow Attorney-General has overseen and himself directly written eight referrals to police of coalition members. And what has come of those referrals? Absolutely nothing. So, how many referrals until it starts to look vexatious? How many referrals?
Two of those referrals from the shadow Attorney-General were about the sitting Attorney-General, one with respect to the former Attorney-General, George Brandis, and in fact one with respect to myself. And on 24 February 2015 the shadow Attorney-General referred the then Attorney-General, George Brandis, to the AFP with an accusation of corruption and unlawful conduct. In a proper sense, and in the real world not that long ago, if you referred a standing Attorney-General to the AFP and absolutely nothing came of it, you would have a question to answer. And what came of that referral? Absolutely nothing—just as it did from the other seven referrals.
In fact, the obsession that you had for George Brandis—you were like the Wile E. Coyote of referral, and making the George Brandises of the world look like roadrunners is the easiest thing to do. But he was looking over his shoulder at you, going 'Beep beep'! There were 24 calls for George Brandis's resignation—and then again, and then again. The letter that the shadow Attorney-General sent referring George Brandis to the AFP for corruption was so lame that it couldn't even name the offence that was said to have been committed. At least when I got referred to the AFP for bribery you were able to nominate the offence that you said was committed. But what came of that? Absolutely nothing—a serial offender in terms of vexatious complaints that waste the time of the AFP when the AFP could be using their time looking into things like drug dealing, terrorism or child sex offences. What a joke.