Senate debates

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Matters of Public Interest

Australian Water Holdings

1:56 pm

Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

I note Senator Sinodinos's statement to the chamber. It is regrettable he has not provided the Senate with a detailed explanation of some of the matters which were canvassed at length this morning. It is interesting that the government so wished to not have Senator Sinodinos attend the chamber to make such an explanation that it was willing to delay proceedings such that it did not get a vote on its own carbon tax repeal legislation. We have had the Prime Minister thumping the table, demanding that the carbon legislation be passed. You would have got the carbon bill this morning, but instead all you want to do is have another cover-up so that Senator Sinodinos is not required to attend the chamber to answer questions.

Some substantial questions remain for the government about the extent of Prime Minister Abbott's knowledge of the matters which have been the subject of evidence at ICAC prior to or subsequent to the time that he appointed Senator Sinodinos to the ministry. Those questions should be answered by the government. When did Mr Abbott know about some of the matters that have been the subject of evidence and submission at the commission against corruption? When did he know about the funnelling of Sydney Water funds through to the Liberal Party?

When did the Prime Minister know about the sham loan arrangement that evidence has been given about? When did the Prime Minister know that Senator Sinodinos was involved in both a letter in relation to the lobbying for the new contract—


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