Sep 20, 2007

Questions without Notice – Liberal Party

Questions without Notice – Liberal Party

20 September 2007

Mr ALBANESE (2.54 p.m.)—My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to an article which appeared in the Australian on 27 June 2007 concerning the purchase of Kevin Rudd’s and Therese Rein’s family home in Brisbane. Is the Prime Minister aware that this article states:

Liberal Party figures in Queensland, including a forensic accountant, have been examining the purchase, and the links between the vendors and the Labor Party’s investment companies, for several months.

Is this report correct?

Mr Abbott—Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. Again, this is a smear in the guise of a question. This bloke does not have the guts to do his own—

The SPEAKER—The Leader of the House will resume his seat. The Manager of Opposition Business has asked a question, and I have not even called anyone to answer the question.

Mr Albanese—Mr Speaker, on the point of order, twice now the Leader of the House has stood up in the guise of, I guess, moving a point of order, has not referred to standing orders and has just echoed abuse across this chamber. I ask you to pull him into line.

The SPEAKER—The Manager of Opposition Business raises a valid point of order on that last point raised by the Leader of the House. In relation to the question, I am having difficulty in working out where that is within the Prime Minister’s responsibility. Unless the Manager of Opposition Business can rephrase that question, I will have to rule it out of order.

Mr ALBANESE—My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to an article which appeared in the Australian on 27 June 2007 concerning the purchase of Kevin Rudd’s and Therese Rein’s family home in Brisbane. I also refer to the direct quote in that article:

Liberal Party figures in Queensland, including a forensic accountant, have been examining the purchase, and the links between the vendors and the Labor Party’s investment companies, for several months.

The SPEAKER—The Manager of Opposition Business has not brought that—

Mr ALBANESE—I am going to.

The SPEAKER—The Manager of Opposition Business will get straight to it or resume his seat.

Mr ALBANESE—Can the Prime Minister assure the House that no government members or Liberal Party members were involved in this activity?

The SPEAKER—The Prime Minister cannot be held responsible for anything relating to party matters, but, in relation to government members, I will call the Prime Minister.

Mr HOWARD—I can certainly assure the House that I have not set out to do any of the things suggested by the opposition, nor to my knowledge have any of my parliamentary colleagues. I can also inform the House that, since the question authored by the Leader of the Opposition was asked by the member for Jagajaga, I have been informed by the Federal Director of the Liberal Party that he is not aware of, nor has he been in any way responsible for, the appointment of any private investigators to investigate the affairs of the Leader of the Opposition. He has authorised me to say that on behalf of the Liberal Party organisation and he is prepared to publicly refute the allegations the Leader of the Opposition is not prepared to make even under parliamentary privilege.