Jun 25, 2015

Question Time – 25 June 2015

Mr BYRNE (Holt) (14:36): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to this email sent by the Victorian Liberal Party that sought to raise political donations by referring to national security matters. Did the Prime Minister authorise his image in the Parliament House courtyard to be used by his political party in this fundraising email? Will the Prime Minister ensure that national security will never again be used for political fundraising?

The SPEAKER: On the basis of part of that question being within the standing orders and part of it being outside, I will give the Prime Minister the call.

Mr ABBOTT (Warringah—Prime Minister) (14:37): I do thank the member for Holt the question. I appreciate the good work that the member for Holt does in the national security space as the deputy chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and Security. It was good to go to the Endeavour Hills police station recently with the member for Holt and the member for La Trobe to talk about what we are doing to counter violent extremism and to talk about the good work that both Victoria Police and Australian Federal Police have done there. I think the member for Holt, more than most on the other side of the parliament, appreciates that this government would never knowingly politicise national security.

Opposition members interjecting—

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister is answering the question.

Mr ABBOTT: I was asked a serious question by a serious member of this parliament and I am attempting to answer it.

Opposition members interjecting—

The SPEAKER: There will be silence. The Prime Minister is answering the question that has been asked.

Mr ABBOTT: The advertisement, the appeal that was put out by the Victorian division of the Liberal Party was put out by that division without any consultation or foreknowledge from me, from my office or from the federal secretariat of the Liberal Party. It should not have been done. It was wrong. It was in poor taste. It was, I suppose, an attempt to take advantage of something which should not be taken advantage of. Certainly the instruction that I have given is that no such use of anything to do with this parliament should ever take place.


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