Wednesday, 4 December 2019
Questions without Notice
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction
My question is to the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction. At 12.45, the minister failed to comply with a Senate order to provide any evidence backing his claim that the fraudulent document he used to attach the Lord Mayor of Sydney was downloaded from the City of Sydney website. Will the minister provide that evidence now?
Just before I call the minister, I'm going to say that any questions can be answered, but, as a matter of principle on behalf of all members of the House of Representatives, there is absolutely no obligation to comply with a Senate order. That's an important principle. Indeed, there have been requests in the past that members of this House appear at Senate hearings. Former Prime Minister Keating responded more colourfully than I am now.
And I'm just going to say on behalf of all members of this House: the Senate has no business seeking members of this House to comply with anything they seek to do. As you can tell, my attitude to the first part of the question—
Mr Gosling interjecting—
The member for Solomon, if you want to go and be a senator, go for your life. The member for Hindmarsh, on a point of order?
Let's just change the topic or we'll all be in trouble. I didn't say that the question was out of order. It was just important, as the Speaker, on behalf of members of this House, to say that we are no more going to comply with Senate orders or appear at Senate committees. There's no compunction. The last part of the question was in order.
I'll always cooperate on matters of this sort. I tabled a statement in this House last week. It was a statement from 25 October and, as I have repeatedly told the House, I absolutely reject the scurrilous allegations from those opposite. They are so transparent. They seek to distract from their woes with gossip and smear, because they don't want to talk about how emissions have fallen in the last year and are lower than at any time Labor were in government. They don't want to talk about three consecutive quarters of electricity price reductions.