Transcript: Jenny McAllister On Estimates
11.00am | March 01, 2017
SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
WEDNESDAY, 1 MARCH 2017
SUBJECT/S: Estimates, George Brandis
MCALLISTER: Its day three of Estimates and I thought I’d run through what we learnt yesterday. First of all we learnt that neither Senator Hanson nor Senator Roberts could be bothered to turn up. They’d prefer to send their barbs from a distance and don’t want to participate in the Committee process. We learnt that Senator Abetz considers that the LGBTI community may be a hostile nation. We learnt that despite all of the furore around Australia Post, neither Senator Fifield nor Senator Corman, the Minister for Communications and the Minister for Finance, could be bothered to even ask what the Australia Post CEO’s salary was. We also learnt that, simply by abandoning his colleagues and moving to the Crossbench, Cory Bernardi has almost doubled his staff allocation.
But the most serious are the matters relating to the Attorney General and the Bell Group. Time after time the Attorney General has been asked to account for his actions in relation to the Bell Group saga. This is a person who prefers slippery words, obfuscation, word games rather than full and frank account of the truth. Last night we saw him resort to even more ridiculous lows in relation to when he first knew of this matter and in relation to when he first spoke to the state representatives in WA. This has gone beyond a joke and it’s time the Prime Minister called his Attorney General in, and asked him to make a full account of his actions and his knowledge in relation to the Bell Group, and to do that in the context of the Parliament and Estimates process.
MCALLISTER: It is simply that the Attorney General has been asked to provide information to the Senate about what he knew and when, and his actions in relation to the Bell Group. He has fallen below the standards of accountability and transparency that are expected of an Attorney General, the first law officer. The fact that he was unable to provide an honest account of when he first knew of this matter, speaks volumes about his commitment to probity and transparency.
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