Thursday, 15 February 2018
Questions without Notice
Deputy Prime Minister
My question is to the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Canavan. Earlier this week, the minister advised the Senate that his appointment of Deputy Prime Minister Joyce's former media advisor in his office was, and I quote, 'Approved through consultation between my office and the Deputy Prime Minister's office'. Who did the minister first discuss the appointment with and when? Who approved the appointment? And when was it approved?
As I said earlier this week, appointments of my staff are always done through the standard procedures, and of course there is communication between officers on appointments. I cannot recall the first person who was spoken to in this case, but the appointment was made through standard procedures. In terms of timing, I can take those questions on notice.
Given the minister's total number of personal staff increased from six to seven, was there a position vacant or was a role created for Deputy Prime Minister Joyce's former media advisor? What reason was the minister given for the need to transition the staffer from Deputy Prime Minister Joyce's office?
I believe that these matters were dealt with earlier in the week by Minister Cormann. The National Party is allocated a specific pool of staff. The appointment of Ms Campion to my office did not change the size of that pool. However, a position was relocated to my office. It was relocated to expand and improve the performance of the digital media content produced by my office.
Today, Senator McGrath told Sky News that Deputy Prime Minister Joyce's former media advisor was interviewed for the role in Senator Canavan's office. If interviews, in fact, did take place, how many other applicants were interviewed?
I can confirm that Ms Campion was interviewed for the role in my office on a number of occasions. Ms Campion was a well-credentialed, skilled and experienced applicant for the role. As is often the case with such appointments, Ms Campion was the only person interviewed for the role because she had the skills and experience. And she was well known, of course, given her previous experience for the National Party in this place.