House debates

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Questions without Notice

Barnier, Mr Gary

2:24 pm

Photo of Ged KearneyGed Kearney (Cooper, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Skills) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister aware that Mr Gary Barnier, who is being paid $920,000 in borrowed money by the government, bullied a 94-year-old, offered $10,000 of hush money to a family who complained about substandard care and ran an aged-care facility where a resident was found with maggots in her mouth?

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I will ask the Minister for Health to add further to my answer. That information is not available to me. If the member would like to provide those details and that information, I will undertake to follow up that matter. The Minister for Health may want to add to the answer.

2:25 pm

Photo of Greg HuntGreg Hunt (Flinders, Liberal Party, Minister for Health) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm pleased to take this question. I would respectfully caution the member about making such statements under the cover of this House. I think one thing that is incumbent on all of us is to treat with great respect the privilege which comes with the ability to use the dispatch box.

I'm very happy to provide the information that I have. Mr Barnier has been a member of the Aged Care Financing Authority since he was appointed by the then Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Jacinta Collins, in 2013. I'm also happy to advise that, on his appointment to the current role, the matters raised were considered by the department and government during the reappointment process. I think it's particularly important to indicate that in 2018 the Nous Group conducted an independent review into Opal Aged Care and that the report made a number of recommendations to identify areas for improvement. The report did not identify any wrongdoing or make any adverse findings in relation to the conduct of Mr Barnier. I believe that that is an important fact before this House.