Thursday, 15 November 2018
I inform the Senate that Senator Payne, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, will be absent from question time today. Senator Payne is on overseas ministerial business. And Senator Canavan will be absent from question time today due to ministerial business. During Senator Payne’s absence, I will take questions relating to the Foreign Affairs and Defence portfolios, representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Defence, the Minister for Defence Industry, the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, the Minister for Defence Personnel and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac. Senator Fifield will represent the Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, and Senator Cash will represent the Minister for Women.
In Senator Canavan's absence, Senator Cash will represent the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, and the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. Senator McKenzie will represent the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.
by leave—We do understand that it is what might be referred to as 'summit season'. We do understand, for example—and this is no criticism of Senator Payne's absence nor Senator Birmingham's absence—that the government is very thinly represented, and this is the only chamber—
Senator Cormann interjecting—
Okay, you might take that as a compliment, Senator Cormann! Mathias: not everything is about you! I think it would be a good thing if government ministers could actually make rocking up to parliament a priority. I thank the Senate.