Thursday, 14 February 2019
Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education
I was referring to what the case was about. It includes a $100,000 donation to GetUp!, of which Mr Shorten was a founding member, and a $25,000 donation to Mr Bill Shorten's own election campaign.
As senators would be aware, I have been subpoenaed by the AWU to give evidence in the Federal Court proceeding. I can confirm to the Senate that, on 25 October 2017, I advised the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee that a then staff member in my office had resigned his employment. I told the Senate committee at the time:
I have just been advised that, without my knowledge, one staff member in my office, in the course of discussions with journalists, indicated that he had received information … that a raid may take place. I am advised that this information came from a media source.
The statement I made to the Senate estimates committee was based on the advice given to me.
The AWU's legal action is in the course of hearing before the Federal Court of Australia this week. As I am yet to give evidence in the case, I am subject to restrictions in relation to what I can be told about the evidence that is being given by other witnesses. Although Senator Wong and other Labor senators have provided commentary on the case during question time, I have no way to verify if what Senator Wong has said is correct.