Thursday, 15 February 2018
Questions without Notice
Deputy Prime Minister
My question is to the Minister representing the Deputy Prime Minister, Senator Scullion. On Saturday The Australian reported that Mr Greg Maguire, described as a multimillionaire businessman who is an influential player in New England politics, had allowed the Deputy Prime Minister to live rent-free in his Armidale townhouse for six months, a gift valued at around $14,000. The Deputy Prime Minister has since described Mr Maguire as a mate. On how many occasions have agencies for which Deputy Prime Minister Joyce is responsible contracted Mr Maguire or his companies for the provision of goods and services?
The Deputy Prime Minister has made significant statements on every matter, including some of the matters that have been asked by the leader of the opposition in this place. I am not aware of any of the matters that she has just asked me. Matters that are appropriate in relation to this portfolio matter I will take on notice.
Answers to questions on notice from Senate estimates made clear that an agency under the Deputy Prime Minister's administration made a payment of in excess of $5,000 of taxpayers' money to a business owned by the Deputy Prime Minister's so-called mate Mr Greg Maguire. Can the minister advise whose decision it was to engage Mr Maguire's business?
Can the minister advise the Senate of the total value of contracts entered into by the Deputy Prime Minister, or his agencies, and businesses owned or operated by his so-called mate Mr Maguire? Can the minister advise if these contracts exceed the value of the $14,000 gift of rent-free accommodation Mr Maguire has provided to the Deputy Prime Minister?
The only thing I can confirm is that the so-called free accommodation was, in fact, declared as a gift in the proper way. On any other of these matters, I'm unaware of the answers, but I'll seek the advice of the Deputy Prime Minister's office.