Tuesday, 5 September 2017
Questions without Notice
Deputy Leader of the Nationals
My question is to the Minister for Regional Development, Senator Nash. Last Wednesday, constitutional law expert Professor George Williams told the National Press Club that, in relation to Deputy Prime Minister Joyce and Minister Nash:
The wisest course is for them to refrain from making decisions or to step down pending the outcome of the High Court hearing.
Has the minister accepted Professor Williams's advice and refrained from making decisions?
That was a view of Professor Williams, and he is entitled to his view on this matter. Can I just add, further to an answer that I gave before, that no decisions have been delayed and none have been deferred since my statement to the Senate last Thursday. Indeed, those are the views of Professor Williams and they are a matter for him.
Given Minister Nash will be deciding on $20 million in grant funding for Wide Bay under the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages, why won't she step aside to ensure there is no risk to the support many Queenslanders are relying on?
I'm not going to comment on individual projects that are coming before the government through a process which, of course, goes to the grants hub and then goes to the ministerial panel for acceptance or rejection. I won't be commenting on individual projects.
Given the minister will also decide on $20 million for Geelong under the same fund, why won't she do the responsible thing, step aside and remove any risk to the support for a key centre of regional industry?
I have referred previously in this chamber to the advice that I have received in terms of staying as a minister and making decisions, and I will be continuing to remain as a minister. I am very confident that the decisions that I am making are appropriate and well considered.