Thursday, 7 December 2017
Questions without Notice
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
Senator Siewert, we certainly won't be revoking Dr Johns's appointment. We're actually very proud of Dr Johns's appointment. We regard him as an extremely suitable person to undertake this role.
Senator Siewert, you have attributed a number of views to Dr Gary Johns. I occasionally read Dr Gary Johns's opinion pieces in the newspapers. I've never read any opinion piece in which he has expressed those views and, no doubt, Senator Siewert, Dr Johns has expressed a variety of views—as all newspaper columnists or op-ed writers do—some of which people would agree with and some of which people would disagree with. But, Senator Siewert, we don't run a ruler over people's opinions in deciding whether or not they are suitable for an important public position, because the last time I looked, at least under a coalition government, this was a free country in which freedom of opinion is respected. (Time expired)