Nov 26, 2019

Questions Without Notice: Additional Answers – Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction – Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Mr ALBANESE (GrayndlerLeader of the Opposition) (16:29): Mr Speaker, I understand the context of that ruling, and that’s why I will now seek to move a motion to suspend standing orders, which would be appropriate at this time. I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the Member for Grayndler from moving the following motion immediately—That the House:

(1) notes that:

   (a) on the evening of 23 October 2019, The Guardian reported the Minister for Emissions Reduction had used incorrect figures from the City of Sydney Annual Report 2017-18 in a letter to the Lord Mayor of Sydney;

   (b) on 24 October 2019, the Minister told the House “The document was drawn directly from the City of Sydney’s website”;

   (c) despite the Minister’s claim, all the evidence to date is that no such document ever existed on the website, the altered document has only ever been produced by the Minister’s office and the doctored figures have only ever been used by the Minister in his official Ministerial correspondence;

   (d) today, the NSW Police confirmed that it had launched Strike Force Garrad to investigate the matter;

   (e) paragraph 7.1 of the Ministerial Standards make clear that it is for the Prime Minister to stand aside a Minister if that Minister becomes the subject of an official investigation of alleged illegal conduct; and

   (f) in Question Time today, the Prime Minister stonewalled, ridiculed Labor for demanding the Minister for Emissions Reduction be immediately stood aside and shut down debate on the Minister’s conduct; and

(2) therefore, condemns the Prime Minister for his contempt for this Parliament and the principles of ministerial integrity and accountability.

I am astounded that the Prime Minister has shown such contempt as to come into this parliament and stonewall again for this minister. This minister must go.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Goodenough ): I call the minister.

Mr Albanese: This minister must go.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I call the minister.

Mr Albanese: This minister is now being held accountable not just for this parliament—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Leader of the Opposition will take his seat!