Friday, 22 June 2012
Appropriation Bill (No. 5) 2011-2012, Appropriation Bill (No. 6) 2011-2012; Second Reading
George Brandis (Queensland, Liberal Party, Shadow Attorney-General) Share this | Hansard source
Thank you. Mr McClelland conducted himself with integrity and as a gentleman. He conducted himself more impressively as Attorney-General, I am bound to say, than does the incumbent. In any event, what Mr McClelland seemed to be seeking to draw to the attention of the House of Representatives deals with the self-same matters that Mr Glenn Milne was punished for trying to draw to the attention of the Australian people on 29 August last year and what Mr Michael Smith was punished for trying to draw to the attention of the Australian people at about the same time on radio station 2UE and that Mr Andrew Bolt continues to seek to draw to the attention of the Australian people.
We must ask why it is that Mr McClelland chose to throw the spotlight on those matters yesterday. Why is it that he pointedly sought to refer to the Prime Minister's knowledge of those matters? What are the facts which Mr Milne and Mr Smith sought to communicate to the public before they were interfered with that plainly Mr McClelland knows about and invited public attention to in his remarks yesterday?
Senator Joyce, who is about to follow me in this debate, has some other observations to make. Let me conclude my remarks simply by saying this: there are matters being concealed. There is an area of public discussion being stifled here of the utmost seriousness. The public is entitled to know of those matters. It is entitled to know of the allegations made in the Federal Court and industrial court proceedings conducted by Mr McClelland's firm in the mid-1990s which he drew attention to yesterday. The public is entitled to know the roles of the various dramatis personae whose names have been mentioned. It is entitled to know the facts which Mr Milne and Mr Smith sought to draw to the attention of the public last August and which Mr McClelland refreshed our memory of in his speech yesterday.