Thursday, 25 March 2021
Questions without Notice
Abetz, Hon. Senator Eric
My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Prime Minister's comments in this House yesterday concerning statements attributed to Senator Abetz. The Tasmanian premier has now confirmed that Speaker Hickey raised the matter with him a few weeks ago and has separately written to the Prime Minister asking him to consider the matters raised. Since he received the premier's letter, what steps has the Prime Minister taken to investigate Speaker Hickey's claims? Has he spoken to Senator Abetz.
I did receive that letter from the premier, and it provided no additional information on this matter whatsoever to that that was already in the public domain. He simply noted the statement that had been made, under privilege, in the Tasmanian parliament. He then noted the complete denial of that statement by Senator Abetz, and that's where the matter rests. It's a matter of comment that of course, were that to be the case, that would be repugnant. But those comments have been absolutely denied by Senator Abetz. A senator of long-time standing in this place has made that statement. He's made it openly, as a complete denial of what has been put against him. I have not been party to that conversation, like the member who has raised the question. The denial that Senator Abetz has put forward is there on the open record.