Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Assistant Minister for Health; Censure
Through you, Mr President, Senator Wong: rest content to spray allegations around with no substance to back them up. And then she refuses to hear Senator Fiona Nash's detailed and specific response to her allegations. So the first course of action—divestment—was followed. The second course of action was to give undertakings that no situation would ever be allowed to arise in which there was a conflict of interest between APA and the role of the minister's chief of staff. Those detailed and specific undertakings were sought by the minister, and they were received from Mr Furnival, and from his wife and from the company; and those undertakings were honoured. The undertakings were honoured, and the divestment took place. Nothing more could have been done or could have been demanded of those concerned to avoid a conflict of interest. And yet Senator Wong chooses to disregard the fact that every one of her allegations has been answered. They were answered today by Senator Nash in her contribution and they have been answered in previous question times. They were answered with specificity in Senate estimates last week.
This chutzpah on stilts, from a person who was a minister in a government maintained in power for the last three years by a criminal, Mr Craig Thomson; and who has enjoyed most of her ministerial career as a member of the political party whose federal president was a criminal, Mr Michael Williamson. So please, Senator Wong, do not come into this chamber and smear an honest, decent, dignified and competent woman when the political party you represent is racked with criminality from the top to the very bottom.