Monday, 2 December 2019
Questions without Notice
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction
My question is to the Attorney-General. As the first law officer in this country and the minister in charge of drafting national integrity legislation, how on earth did the Attorney-General judge it appropriate for the Prime Minister to call the New South Wales police commissioner about the instigation, nature and substance of the criminal investigation into one of his own cabinet ministers?
Because the call was totally appropriate. It's precisely what the Prime Minister undertook to do. He did it. He came back to the House with the response to that call. And, indeed, it is precisely the description that Commissioner Fuller has given when he said that 'absolutely nothing inappropriate' occurred in that phone call. With respect to your question about being the first law officer, it is a responsibility. There's someone over there who wants the job of first law officer, and that person has previously referred two officers to the AFP for investigation. He is now looking down at his phone—
maybe trying to see whether or not there was any follow-up from those two letters. They were some time ago. Whose advice was being sought and received when the shadow Attorney-General thinks that it's a good idea to send a politicised referral of George Brandis off for a charge of corruption to the AFP? Whose advice is being sought or received when the shadow Attorney-General decides that it's a wise idea to send the present Attorney-General and myself off to the AFP for a charge, under the Australian Electoral Commission, of bribery? Whose advice is being sought about that? And how many hopeless no-response referrals does this shadow Attorney-General have to preside over before a problem starts to tick on the horizon of the Leader of the Opposition? You are responsible for those referrals, all eight of them: 8-0.