House debates

Monday, 22 February 2021

Statements by Members

Morrison Government

1:39 pm

Photo of Peta MurphyPeta Murphy (Dunkley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The events that this parliament has had to live through, let alone what Ms Higgins has had to live through, in the last week and a half have left so many good Australians incandescent with rage and depressed with frustration. I promised my electorate of Dunkley that, if I could come to this place and have the privilege of representing them, I would work towards making politics better and parliament a safer and more positive place for people to work, and one of the ways that we have to do that is by returning to the good old-fashioned principles of ministerial responsibility.

Under this Morrison government and in the Liberal government's previous terms, we have seen a walking away from ministerial responsibility. How many times do we have to see ministers saying, 'It wasn't me; it was my staff,' or, 'I didn't know what my staff were doing, so I don't have to take responsibility'? From the Prime Minister's reactions last week—let alone when his media officers were apparently lying about whether or not he was in Hawaii during the bushfires—to the minister for emissions blaming his staff for false numbers in the City of Sydney report that he falsely used, to the minister for employment and the minister responsible for the AFP blaming their staff for leaks about the AWU raids, to the environment minister blaming her staff for not taking a phone call about the destruction of Juukan Gorge, to the Minister for Sport blaming an unnamed staffer for the famous Excel spreadsheet in the sports rorts—she had to take responsibility because she was the only female minister in the lot— (Time expired)