House debates

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Questions without Notice

Commonwealth Integrity Commission

3:00 pm

Photo of Luke GoslingLuke Gosling (Solomon, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Does the Prime Minister's model of a national anticorruption commission have the power to investigate a cabinet minister's decision to grant visas to au pairs for mates?

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

These questions go to the very heart of why the model we have put forward in 349 pages of draft legislation, which is publicly available on the Attorney-General's website, go absolutely to the issue of why it's important that an integrity commission which is introduced is not to be used and weaponised for the sorts of political stunts and game playing that we are seeing here from the Labor Party. They don't want an integrity commission; they just want to engage in the slurs. Criminal and corrupt conduct is the sort of conduct that sent former minister Ian Macdonald to prison, which the Leader of the Opposition was a keen supporter of.

The Leader of the Opposition, on a point of order?

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

I ask that it be withdrawn, Mr Speaker.

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

Former Minister Macdonald—

The Prime Minister will resume his seat. It would assist—the Leader of the House?

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

Again, Mr Speaker, the standing orders are very clear. If the Leader of the Opposition claims to have been misrepresented, he should make that claim at the end of question time. If he has a question of you, he should put that question to you at that stage. Nothing that has been said is unparliamentary or, for that matter, untrue, but, if he claims it to be untrue, he should do so at the end of question time.

The member for Isaacs is warned. The Leader of the Opposition?

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

I have supported all of the processes, including the ICAC processes. It is entirely—

The Leader of the Opposition, on a point of order?

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

The Prime Minister cannot make the accusation which he has made, and it cannot be allowed to stand. I oppose criminal conduct and I support the jailing of people who break the law. And don't criticise courts.

The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat. It's not in order for a member of parliament to accuse—just hear me out for an moment. It is not in order for a member of parliament to accuse another member of parliament to have acted criminally. Over the last week there have been discussions around mates being in jail, and it is sailing close to the wind. Whilst it's not technically a breach of the standing orders, it is sailing close to the wind. I would just ask the Prime Minister and all members to be very, very mindful that, whilst an accusation may not allude to criminal conduct, there is a form of guilt by association type arrangement. I would ask the Prime Minister to be careful with his wording, please.

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

My statement was based simply on the fact of the Leader of the Opposition's support for Ian Macdonald to be in the New South Wales parliament. There are matters on the public record. He can make a personal explanation if that's not true.

I'm also asked about matters involving immigration and the conduct of people involved in immigration. Former Labor member for Dobell Mr Thomson was found guilty of 13 counts of theft for spending money on prostitutes and fine dining, and is currently being charged—

The Manager of Opposition Business on a point of order.

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the Arts) Share this | | Hansard source

Simply on relevance. The Prime Minister's referring to conduct that is appropriately being called out; it's just not relevant to this question.

The question was in relation to an anticorruption commission.

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the Arts) Share this | | Hansard source

What the Prime Minister's doing is saying that, because there's a reference to a specific form of visa with respect to au pairs, it is open to him to talk about anything within the immigration system. That's an extraordinary stretch.

I don't agree. The question was in relation to an anticorruption commission, particularly in relation to visas. The Prime Minister has the call.

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

The Leader of the Opposition said he had complete confidence in Mr Thomson. As we know, we saw him on the beers with Mr Thomson. This is the standard that the Leader of the Opposition set when he was in government, and indeed the Leader of the House, seeking to secure the vote of Mr Thomson, who has been shamed by his own actions. Those opposite talk a big game on this issue. As I said, more of their members are in the Silverwater branch of the Labor Party than they care to admit.

The Prime Minister will withdraw the last comment, please. I just spoke about the issue of sailing close to the wind. The Prime Minister has referred to Silverwater and the Labor Party. It would assist the chair if the Prime Minister withdrew that last comment.

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

I'm happy to withdraw.