Wednesday, 21 October 2020
Questions without Notice
National Integrity Commission
My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. I refer to evidence given today before Senate estimates by the Attorney-General's Department that the government has had an exposure draft of legislation to create a National Integrity Commission since last December, December 2019. I ask the Prime Minister: don't Australians have a right to see this draft, and will the government table it?
Yes, they do and, yes, they will. But it may have passed the attention of the leader of the Labor Party—as it seems to on many occasions—that, since December of last year, there has been a significant crisis this country has been dealing with, and a rolling set of crises—
Mr Albanese interjecting—
and the Leader of the Opposition is correct—bushfires, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a COVID-19 pandemic that has escaped the attention of the Leader of the Opposition, who doesn't seem to have understood that that is what has caused the COVID-19 recession in this country. As I said the other day, if you don't know how you got into the problem—
Honourable members interjecting—
On relevance, Mr Speaker. The question contained a very specific ask: 'Will the government table the legislation?' They can do that. They can do that today. They could have done it on any day since December 2019.
I'll just say to the Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister addressed the specifics of the question in perhaps the first 15 or 20 seconds, and what he's now doing is explaining why the government's taken certain action. I think that's still directly relevant to the question that's asked, so I'll allow the Prime Minister to continue.
If the Leader of the Opposition doesn't understand how Australia went into a COVID-19 recession, he hasn't got the faintest idea how he could get Australia out of that situation. But this government knows how, and it was set out in our economic recovery plan for the COVID-19 recession, which was in the budget handed down by the Treasurer—which has seen one of the biggest spikes in consumer confidence we've seen in response to a budget since those surveys were undertaken. It was the budget that Australians needed. It is the shot in the arm that Australians have needed. And that's our plan.