Transcript: Doorstop Before Senate Estimates
3.00pm | October 25, 2018
SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
TUESDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2018
SUBJECT/S: Senate estimates, Religious Freedoms Review, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull travel entitlements.
McALLISTER: First day of estimates, and what did we learn yesterday? Well, we’ve had confirmation this is a Government racked by chaos, beset by internal division, and completely out of touch. The Government warned of chaos if Mr Sharma failed to prevail in the Wentworth by-election. And yet yesterday it became very clear that they have no plan at all to manage the situation in the House of Representatives that arises when they have just 75 of the elected members. This is a minority Government, and yet Senator Cormann could not explain to estimates how it is that they plan to secure support for legislation, or whether they’ve engaged in conversations with the crossbench about securing confidence and supply. It’s a Government that cannot deal with its own divisions. Yesterday, again, it was confirmed that just three people certainly had possession of the Religious Freedoms Review - Mr Porter, Mr Morrison and Mr Turnbull, and somehow that Religious Freedoms Review made its way on to the front pages of the newspapers. Now, there are no plans apparently by the Government to investigate that leak. They confirmed yesterday they have no intention to investigate the leak. And why is that? It’s because Mr Morrison is afraid to find out the answer. He is simply too scared of the divisions in his own party room to risk an investigation, despite the fact that a sensitive cabinet document – something so sensitive that it can’t be shared with the Senate - can’t be shared with the Australian people has nonetheless been provided by someone in the Government by the media.
It’s also a Government that is wildly out of touch. Yesterday it was confirmed that Mr Morrison has signed off on an unlimited international travel entitlement for former Prime Minister Turnbull. Now this is an entitlement that has been provided to no other equivalent former Prime Minister. Not Mr Howard, not Ms Gillard, not Mr Abbott - none of these former Prime Ministers have an entitlement to unlimited international travel. But that is what has been provided for Mr Turnbull. How out of touch is that? Do you really think the Australian people will accept that this is an appropriate price to buy Mr Turnbull’s cooperation?
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