Senate debates

Wednesday, 24 November 2021


Centrelink's Compliance Program; Order for the Production of Documents

3:40 pm

Photo of Kimberley KitchingKimberley Kitching (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

The second ground she's claiming—disclosure of the deliberations of cabinet—is I think a pretty distant claim. She says she can't do it because there might be a claim in relation to any request. It would be really useful if the minister could have a look at ministerial duty in our system of democracy. I don't want to overburden her, but she might like to look at the Constitution and read a few constitutional law cases. As I said, I don't want to overburden her, because that would be far, far too much for her. But she should go and look at that and understand that in fact there is a duty of transparency and disclosure to the people who are voting for the government. That is an absolute basic fact in our democracy, yet it seems that the minister is unable to understand or pay any respect to that. So really, she should have another look at the questions that have been asked, She should take her letter and read it properly, because she probably hasn't done that; someone else has probably written it for her. And she should actually understand that she has a duty. But, you know, I'm not going to hold my breath.


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