Senate debates

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Tax Laws Amendment (2007 Measures No. 4) Bill 2007; Taxation (Trustee Beneficiary Non-Disclosure Tax) Bill (No. 1) 2007; Taxation (Trustee Beneficiary Non-Disclosure Tax) Bill (No. 2) 2007; Tax Laws Amendment (2007 Measures No. 5) Bill 2007

In Committee

5:47 pm

Photo of Nick SherryNick Sherry (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Banking and Financial Services) Share this | Hansard source

Senator Carr quite incorrectly interjects, but he quite rightly makes the point: has a police inquiry been called into this leak to the Financial Review of the cabinet discussion on the removal of discrimination as it applies to same-sex couples and superannuation? Parliamentary Secretary Colbeck, I would like to know whether in fact there has been a police inquiry—we can deal with this in the committee stage—initiated into that leak of a detailed cabinet discussion.

But I will point the finger because we know who leaked it. Mr Turnbull leaked it. He is the one who leaked that cabinet discussion because he is under electoral pressure. I can see some smiles on the advisers’ faces—they know I am right. I hope this police investigation is being undertaken, because Mr Turnbull is playing both sides of the street. He has a part in collective cabinet responsibility and has to follow the lead of the Prime Minister, who will not deliver on the promise that he made four years ago. Mr Turnbull leaked that discussion to the Financial Review because he wants to ensure that his views in that cabinet discussion were communicated to the gay community in his own electorate. That is what it was all about. We would like to know what has happened with the police investigation into that cabinet discussion.

Here we are, four years later, and the government still has not delivered on its promise, solemnly given in writing by the Prime Minister. How often are various people in the community going to be misled by this tricky manoeuvring of the Prime Minister? I just hope that the same-sex community in Australia really do understand at the next election just how tricky the Prime Minister has been on this issue. He has been very tricky indeed. I also hope they realise just how tricky Mr Turnbull was in leaking those cabinet discussions to the Financial Review. We know that he was the one responsible.

Labor will be supporting the amendments moved by the Democrats. It is Labor policy to remove the discrimination in the area. Superannuation is a person’s own money. It is their savings. Why on earth the government continues to maintain discrimination in this area is just beyond me. It is a person’s own money—their own superannuation savings.

I have two specific questions to the parliamentary secretary. Has a police investigation been called into that leak that was detailed in the Financial Review? Where is the police investigation up to?

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