Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Questions without Notice
Liberal Party Leadership
My question this afternoon is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Cormann. Yesterday Senator Fierravanti-Wells published her letter offering her resignation as Minister for International Development and the Pacific to the Prime Minister. This morning Senator Fierravanti-Wells said that she had not spoken to the Prime Minister and was not sure whether her resignation had been accepted. When did the Prime Minister accept Senator Fierravanti-Wells's resignation? And how was acceptance finally communicated to Senator Fierravanti-Wells?
I thank Senator Pratt for giving me the opportunity to again thank Senator Fierravanti-Wells for her outstanding service as a minister in the Turnbull government. Senator Pratt is quite wrong, and I can refer you to the public record, because Senator Fierravanti-Wells published her letter: she did not offer her resignation; she tendered her resignation. There's quite a difference between offering your resignation and tendering your resignation. Others offered their resignation and, as such, those matters appropriately have to be considered by the Prime Minister.
Reports show that Ministers Hunt, Ciobo, Keenan, Tudge, Taylor and Fierravanti-Wells and Assistant Ministers Sukkar, Seselja, Andrews and McGrath supported Peter Dutton instead of Prime Minister Turnbull in yesterday's Liberal leadership ballot. Which members of Prime Minister Turnbull's cabinet and ministry have offered their resignation to the Prime Minister? Which resignations has the Prime Minister accepted?
It is a matter of public record which ministers and assistant ministers have offered their resignation. The Prime Minister has accepted only the resignation of former Minister Dutton, and all other matters will be announced by the Prime Minister in due course.
Reports indicate that ministerial staff were being forced to check public statements to determine whether their bosses were still ministers and whether they still had jobs. Isn't it clear that the Turnbull government is so divided and dysfunctional that its own members don't even know whether they're ministers or not?
The hardworking staff across the Turnbull ministry are very clear that we are here to do the best possible job for the Australian people. We are here to do a job to ensure that Australians today and into the future have the best possible opportunity to get ahead, and that is what they and every minister and every Liberal and National Party member and senator in this place will continue to work towards.