House debates

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Questions without Notice

Morrison Government

2:43 pm

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Does the Prime Minister intend to keep the Attorney-General in cabinet, without holding an independent inquiry into the serious sexual assault allegations against him? I further ask, does the Prime Minister also intend to keep the Defence minister in cabinet, despite her calling someone who reported a sexual assault 'a lying cow'?

2:44 pm

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

I'm asked again about members of my cabinet. I'm very confident about all the members of my cabinet. Yes, I am, because they continue to perform in their roles. I refer, particularly, to the Minister for Defence and the great role that she has played in cabinet. As the Minister for Defence, she, at the time of the bushfires, already had pre-prepared and planned for the biggest single call-out of the Reserve, to ensure they could respond to Operation Bushfire Assist. That was an extraordinary effort by our defence forces—something those opposite mocked. I would caution them against mocking the call-out of our defence forces to assist Australians at their greatest time of need, and I thank the Minister for Defence for the great work she has done on that matter.

Those opposite vote for JobKeeper one day and criticise it the next. They voted for JobKeeper to come off, and now they criticise it when it comes off! All through this pandemic, we have not been able to rely on the opposition; they have had to be dragged kicking and screaming. We can't rely on them and the Australian people can't rely on them. But the Attorney-General ensured we had the changes that kept people in work. Across my cabinet, the Minister for the Environment—

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The Prime Minister will pause there. He was able to answer the previous question because it was very broad ranging, but this is far more specific. He's been relevant to the question by referring to the two ministers who were the subject of the question.

Mr Albanese interjecting

Leader of the Opposition, I am addressing the House. The question doesn't enable the Prime Minister to give a report on every other minister.

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

Maybe another opportunity will present itself during the course of question time. Maybe I'll have to add to an answer later, Mr Speaker, because there are quite a number of others whose achievements I am very keen to speak of—including the Minister for the Environment, who does an amazing job on the recycling revolution in this country. I have great confidence in the members of my cabinet. The Leader of the Opposition can't even have enough confidence in his shadow Treasurer to keep him in the job! He's had to put in someone to oversight him—the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. I have great confidence in my cabinet members; they have great confidence in me. I don't think the Leader of the Opposition can say the same of those who sit on his frontbench.