Anthony Albanese has began unravelling Christopher Pyne’s world

This morning Anthony Albanese gave a press conference in which he called on Tony Abbott and senior Liberals to reveal what they know and when they knew it, and when did they stop knowing it.

This press conference came in light of a curious exchange in Parliament yesterday. Some parts have been edited for clarity.

John Murphy (Reid) asked a seemingly innocent dixer:
My question is to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport representing the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. Will the minister outline for the House the role of the media in reporting the facts on an issue impartially, accurately and with integrity?

The opposition objected, loudly, and the Member for Dawson was kicked out on a 94(a).

Anthony Albanese (Grayndler) began his answer:
I thank the member for Reid for his question and his ongoing interest in media issues. It is indeed vital that the media take seriously their responsibility to report the facts with honesty and integrity. The media’s main role is to report the news, not to make the news. I know the vast majority of the press gallery here do their jobs with integrity… but there are some examples that should serve as cautionary tales.

In 2009 the Godwin Grech affair, also known as Utegate, and broken by Steve Lewis of News Limited, showed that certain parts of the media were involved in the attempted sabotage of a democratically elected government. Time and the truth ultimately brought out the real story in that matter. Now we are seeing another example that should be taken extremely seriously. Members will recall the splash, again by Steve Lewis, on 20 April about allegations of sexual harassment against the Speaker—

Christopher Pyne stood to make a point of order
Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order. I refer you to page 505 of House of Representatives Practice, which states:
The convention is that, subject to the right of the House to legislate on any matter, matters awaiting adjudication in a court of law should not be brought forward in debate, motions or questions.
As this matter is before the Federal Court it is not in order.

Anna Burke, The Deputy Speaker:
The Manager of Opposition Business raises a very important order of sub judice. The issue in respect of the Speaker is currently before the courts.

Stephen Smith (Perth):
Madam Deputy Speaker, on the point of order, the sub judice rule applies as a result of the exercise of your own discretion. It is a case-by-case basis. The Leader of the House in his capacity as the Minister representing the minister for communications has not yet gone into any of those details. If he were to do that, my understanding is that these are matters which have been made public by the court itself, and as a consequence the balance of public interest would be to allow these matters to be considered by the House.

Anna Burke, The Deputy Speaker:
I will hear the Minister representing the minister for communications but I will state that I am mindful of the sub judice issues before the chair and that the issues are currently before the court. The minister has the call.

Anthony Albanese:
I am also very mindful of those issues, which is why I am referring to articles published online today as a result of a release of documents publicly by the court. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald titled ‘”We will get him!”: journalist’s alleged texts to Slipper accuser’ went online today—

Christopher Pyne:
Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order. The Leader of the House is referring to an affidavit lodged in the Federal Court. That is clearly a matter before the Federal Court and cannot be canvassed in the House.

Anna Burke:
The Leader of the House has the call. I will listen carefully but I am wary of the issues that are currently taking part in court action.

Anthony Albanese:
It is very clear that we need to draw a distinction and that people in the media need to recognise whether they are reporters or participants, observers or activists. There is an important distinction between the two that has to be upheld for the sake of the integrity of the media. The fact is that the first I knew about those allegations was when they were published in the Daily Telegraph. I am not surprised that, given the reports today outlining the active involvement prior to the publication of those allegations—

Anna Burke:
The Leader of the House will resume his seat.

Christopher Pyne:
Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order—

Rob Mitchell: (ALP, McEwen)
You’re sweating, Pyne.

Anna Burke:
The member for McEwen will leave the chamber under 94(a).

Kelly O’Dwyer: (Higgins, Lib) interjecting—

Anna Burke:
The member for Higgins might be close behind. The member for McEwen will leave the chamber under 94(a). This is a very important matter. I know everyone is hot under the collar about it but I think we should listen to it carefully.

The member for McEwen then left the chamber.

Christopher Pyne:
Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order. The Leader of the House is now canvassing the Commonwealth’s case in the Federal Court action. He is clearly now taking the argument of the Commonwealth and putting it into the parliament. It is not in order—

Anna Burke:
The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. The difficulty with all these issues is that it is up to my discretion and the discretion of the chair. I ask the minister to conclude his answer.

Anthony Albanese:
I conclude by saying this is an issue which involves taxpayers directly, because we are talking about an issue that involves taxpayers’ interests and whether when someone was on the taxpayers’ payroll they were meeting in News Ltd—

Anna Burke:
The minister will resume his seat. The last part of the minister’s answer will not be incorporated into Hansard as I had asked him to resume his seat.

Christopher Pyne:
Further to that, Madam Deputy Speaker, the Leader of the House attempted to table documents to include in the Hansard that are also sub judice, and I ask you to have them ruled from the record.

Anna Burke:
The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. There is no issue of sub judice in respect of an article that is already in existence. I will seek advice from the Clerk afterwards about the incorporation into Hansard, as I had asked the minister to resume his seat.

Anthony Albanese:
I rise on a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I table the document from the Sydney Morning Herald today.

Christopher Pyne:
Madam Deputy Speaker, if it is not in order for the Leader of the House to make remarks in the chamber and place them on the Hansard when they are sub judice, it certainly is not within his power to table those same remarks.

Anna Burke:
The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. I will seek advice after question time about the incorporation of the document.

Source: Hansard

This is the SHM article that Anthony Albanese refers to We will get him!’: journalist’s alleged texts to Slipper accuser

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9 Comments to “Anthony Albanese has began unravelling Christopher Pyne’s world”

  1. Pyne did so many POOs when Albo was talking about this you’d think he was shitting himself.

  2. Abbott’s dirty mitts are all over this! Remember how he tried to bring down Pauline Hanson. He has form!

    • not just tried, Hanson went to prison and Abbott gleefully took credit for it

      Tony Abbott says: the reality of her [Hanson] so-called party needed to be exposed and I was happy to try to do it… Labor speaker after Labor speaker were demanding, screaming, that the Government in general, but I in particular, do something to stop this terrible Hanson woman.
      Well, I did.
      link: here

  3. One word comes to mind in relation to the actions of all those involved in destroying Mr Speaker Slipper and as a result bringing down the democratically elected, legitimate Govt of the Commonwealth of Australia. The word is TREASON

  4. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I get the feeling that both the Thomson affair, the Slipper allegations and the NO Coalition in power before July are coming seriously unstuck and the evidence hits the courts — it remains to be seen if this is correct.
    I suspect that Phoney Tony and the NO Coalition had had the expectation that they would be the Government by now and that the Thomson & Slipper affairs would have faded into the background and the Greenhouse Gas Levy would have been kyboshed before it was implemented. The overall result being a ‘job well done’ on destroying a government and assuming power by dishonesty and corruption.
    Phoney and the NO Coalition are now in the unfortunate position that they haven’t achieved their aim, parliament is about to go into recession, the facts on Thomson & Slipper will be the only media stuff in town, and the carbon price will be in place, with minimum effect. Not a good place to be!

    • does someone have to be a conspiracy theorist, or just know how low the Liberals would sink, and Abbott in particular, to get in govt

      They thought Thomson would crumble, even their faux concern I believe was intended to push him even further, and I dont think they thought Slippers case would even get to a court

      and Thomson and Slipper might just end up outlasting Abbott

      -99 for Turn Left

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