House debates

Monday, 15 February 2021

Questions without Notice

Minister for Home Affairs

2:57 pm

Photo of Pat ConroyPat Conroy (Shortland, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Home Affairs. Why did the minister reject merit based recommendations from his own community safety experts for the Safer Communities Fund and redirect funding to government-held and marginal seats? What's the point of having community safety experts if the minister just ignores them?

2:58 pm

Photo of Peter DuttonPeter Dutton (Dickson, Liberal Party, Minister for Home Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the honourable member for his question. Under the Safer Communities program, we've committed over $180 million to local councils, places of worship, not-for-profit organisations and organisations working with at-risk young people, leading to greater community resilience and wellbeing. The split between coalition and Labor seats under that program—wait for this startling number—is 51.45 per cent to coalition seats, and 48.55 per cent to Labor seats. You would expect there to be a variation in the number because we have more seats in this place than they do. One may ask: 'What is this issue about? Why are they throwing mud?' I've been in this place long enough to watch a Labor leader under pressure. When they're under pressure they look to distract. They throw mud and they look to distract. You are in your dying days, brother.