Senate debates

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Questions without Notice

Australian Water Holdings

2:01 pm

Photo of Eric AbetzEric Abetz (Tasmania, Liberal Party, Minister for Employment) Share this | Hansard source

I would remind the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate that she was an official in the Australian Labor Party when their national president happened to be one Michael Williamson, so let us not come in here with any pretence about this particular senator's background. But let us be very clear: I have no doubt—but I will take it on notice if need be—that the Prime Minister satisfied himself that Senator Sinodinos not only was but is a fit and proper person. Senator Sinodinos, as we were told by The Canberra Times this morning, has had no allegation made against him in relation to corruption, unlawfulness or illegality. So let us be absolutely clear on this. The sort of person that Senator Arthur Sinodinos is, he will always put his country first, he will always put his government first, he will always put his party first, before himself. And that is why he very selflessly has decided to withdraw from the ministry until such time as the ICAC matters are dealt with. I simply remind Senator Wong and all those opposite, and anybody listening, that Senator Sinodinos's involvement in ICAC is simply as a witness. I understand that Senator Doug Cameron has been there, Greg Combet has been there and many people have been there giving evidence in circumstances where they would have preferred not to have been called as witnesses. But just because they are called as a witness does not mean that you should attach a smear, as Senator Wong and the Labor Party have been doing for the last few weeks.


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