Nov 26, 2018

Questions Without Notice – Prime Minister – Monday, 26 November 2018

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (14:51): My question is addressed to the Prime Minister, and I refer to various answers he has given in this chamber to, ‘Why isn’t Malcolm Turnbull still the Prime Minister of Australia?’ If the Prime Minister won’t tell Australians why he’s got his current job, will he at least say why he was sacked from his role as head of Tourism Australia by former coalition government tourism minister Fran Bailey in the Howard government?

The SPEAKER: I’m not calling the Prime Minister straightaway. I’m just pondering the relevance of the last part of that question. It needs to relate to the Prime Minister’s responsibilities, not to—

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: He wasn’t then, no.

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: As generous as I am, I can’t see that question being in order. The member for Grayndler on a point of order?

Mr Albanese: Thanks, Mr Speaker. The point of order is with regards to why the question was, at least in part, in order—

The SPEAKER: Yes—

Government members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Hang on. Members on my right. I want to keep hearing the member for Grayndler. I’m liking what I hear so far.

Mr Albanese: Because I was very conscious, Mr Speaker, of your role and the potential for a ruling from you, which is why it was framed in terms of referring to previous answers that he’s given day after day after day when we’ve asked each and every day why he’s there and not Malcolm Turnbull. The question went to that—

The SPEAKER: I don’t need you to repeat every question you’ve asked; that’s okay.

Mr Albanese: No, no, I’m just referring to the number of occasions on which it’s been asked. That part of the question is certainly in order. I think he might want to have the opportunity to clear the air about the second part on why he lost his job.

Government members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Members on my right. The Leader of the House?

Mr Pyne: Mr Speaker, on your ruling and the member for Grayndler’s point of order, you have previously said that questions that have a fig leaf of relevance—or in this case, a small tree frond of relevance—should not therefore be in order when the rest of the question is quite clearly not in order, and is really, in this case, designed to be a smear as opposed to a question.

The SPEAKER: That’s right. I’m glad that the member for Grayndler concedes that part of the question wasn’t in order.

Mr ALBANESE: It was an opportunity.

The SPEAKER: He’s been generous in saying he’s providing that opportunity, but, given that a question’s been framed that’s partly deliberately not in order, I’m just not going to allow it. The member for Dunkley.