Tuesday, 11 October 2016
I, and also on behalf of Senator Waters, move:
That the Senate—
(1) notes that:
(a) the statement of ministerial standards stipulates that "Ministers are required to undertake that, for an eighteen month period after ceasing to be a Minister, they will not lobby, advocate or have business meetings with members of the government, parliament, public service or defence force on any matters on which they have had official dealings as Minister in their last eighteen months in office";
(b) Mr Ian Macfarlane held the Resources portfolio for the Coalition for thirteen years, including nine years as Minister, most recently the period of 18 September 2013 until 21 September 2015;
(c) on 26 September 2016, approximately twelve months after he ceased to be a Minister, it was reported that Mr Macfarlane had been appointed as CEO of the Queensland Resources Council; and
(d) it was also reported that Prime Minister Turnbull's office gave approval for Mr Macfarlane's appointment;
(2) calls on all federal Ministers to rule out meeting with Mr Macfarlane in his capacity as CEO of the Queensland Resources Council until 21 March 2017 when eighteen months will have elapsed after he ceased to hold his ministerial portfolios; and
(3) calls on Prime Minister Turnbull to clarify whether he or his office endorsed Mr Macfarlane's disregard for the statement of ministerial standards.
The government does not support this motion. Mr Macfarlane is well aware of his responsibilities as a former minister and the government is confident he will abide by the statement of ministerial standards in his new role. There has been a history of former ministers from both sides of politics taking jobs in sectors related to their previous portfolios shortly after leaving parliament. It is up to each minister to ensure they abide by the statement of ministerial standards when they leave parliament.