ABC Radio Melbourne Drive

Subject/s: Michaelia Cash; National Integrity Commission; Super Saturday

MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY
MEMBER FOR ISAACS
 

 
E & OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC RADIO MELBOURNE DRIVE
MONDAY, 30 JULY 2018
 

MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY
MEMBER FOR ISAACS
 

 
E & OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC RADIO MELBOURNE DRIVE
MONDAY, 30 JULY 2018
 
Subject/s: Michaelia Cash; National Integrity Commission; Super Saturday
 
RAF EPSTEIN, HOST: We’re joined by Mark Dreyfus, he is Shadow Attorney-General, part of Bill Shorten’s Shadow Cabinet. Mark Dreyfus, good afternoon.
 
MARK DREYFUS, SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Afternoon Raf, thanks for having me.
 
EPSTEIN: Can you say anything? If the prosecutors now have, or are soon going to have a role deciding what should happen to people inside Michaelia Cash’s office, does it change anything that Labor thinks about what went on?
 
DREYFUS: It’s pretty extraordinary that the matter has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions. And of course, this only happens when police have enough evidence to suggest that a crime may in fact have been committed. That’s why you get a referral from the police to the DPP. And I think Michaelia Cash cannot run from this anymore. She can’t pretend it isn’t happening.
 
EPSTEIN: She’s not running from it, she’s resisted a civil case from the union in the court…that’s not running from a police investigation.
 
DREYFUS: Well she’s not running from a police investigation because she can’t. She didn’t turn up at estimates, she hid behind a whiteboard. This has been a farce from the beginning. She denied five times in a Senate estimates hearing that her office had leaked to the media about the raid, and then changed her story. So time’s up, I think she’s acted appallingly in this and should take responsibility for the actions of her staff. Particularly personal advisers.
 
EPSTEIN: The AFP may have handed it to the prosecutor because they want to do everything absolutely by the book. Prosecutors may well agree with them and say ‘oh yeah, little bit there but not enough’.
 
DREYFUS: They might, but the police would not do this, they would not refer to the DPP unless they thought there was evidence that a crime may in fact have been committed.
 
EPSTEIN: Do you think there’s too much involvement of the police with our politicians?
 
DREYFUS: The police have to do their job, Raf – it’s the job of the police to investigate whether crimes have been committed, it’s the job of the police to determine whether charges should be laid, and very often they do that in conjunction with the Director of Public Prosecutions and that’s appropriate. I don’t think one should ever suggest that it’s not appropriate for police or not appropriate for DPPs to have contact with politics, or government. If there’s crimes that have been committed, if there’s wrongdoing then there should be investigation. I’d have to say, today is the six-month anniversary of Labor’s call for a National Integrity Commission. I’m very much in favour of investigating, where there has been wrongdoing. I think at the national level, we need to have another institution called a National Integrity Commission, to investigate wrongdoing, to investigate corruption.
 
EPSTEIN: Is there anything to be concerned about if your state Labor colleagues here are asking Victoria Police to have a look at the Liberal Party, we’ve already got the police looking at the Labor Party, you’ve got the AFP looking into  your opponents federally. Is there a point at which we need to query whether or not the police should be involved this much? Or you’re comfortable with it all?
 
DREYFUS: I think police need to do their job and I’m not for a moment suggesting it’s not very difficult. I was the Federal Attorney-General and the Shadow Attorney-General, I think about these issues on a daily basis. Of course it’s difficult for the police.
 
EPSTEIN: It’s very difficult isn’t it because you’re assessing people’s intent.
 
DREYFUS: It’s very difficult for the police, the police have to avoid any suggestion of political favouritism and I think our police at the state levels in every state, and at the federal level do a very good job. And we’re blessed in that sense in Australia. Some decades back, think Fitzgerald Royal Commission in Queensland, we did have corruption in a police force in Queensland. And I think we’ve immeasurably improved the standard of police forces in every state and territory, and at the federal level. And we’ve got mechanisms in place to make sure that’s so. I’m reminded that the Police Commissioner just went to jail in the Northern Territory just recently. That’s evidence that even the police are not above investigation and where necessary, prosecution. I think Australians all can take heart from the fact that we do have apolitical police, we do have apolitical – as in non-political – Directors of Public Prosecutions. One of the reasons we set up DPPs was to separate the criminal justice system from the political process. So no, I don’t have a problem with police being asked to investigate.
 
EPSTEIN: Just a quick one if I can, on the closely fought battle in Queensland and Tasmania. Labor retained its seats. But the swing to Labor in both of those was not as big as the swing to the government in Bennelong. So were they that much of a success?
 
DREYFUS: I think there was great success for Labor in both seats. A win is a win is a win. If I were the LNP, I would be looking very very closely at what’s happened to them in Queensland.
 
EPSTEIN: That might have been a flawed candidate.
 
DREYFUS: Well they now have a primary vote with a two in front of it, Labor has a primary vote with a four in front of it in Longman. In Braddon, there was an independent who preferenced Labor with nearly 11 per cent of the vote, so you’ve got a particularly local event happening there. On the two-party preferred, we’ve got a very satisfactory outcome in both those seats. Particularly in Queensland. I think I and everybody else in the Labor Party takes great heart from it, and the Liberal Party ought to be very worried in thinking that Malcolm Turnbull is just not connecting with, particularly, Queenslanders.
 
EPSTEIN: We’ll have a chat to the Federal Liberal Party after the news. Thanks so much.
 
DREYFUS: Thanks Raf.
 
ENDS


 
RAF EPSTEIN, HOST: We’re joined by Mark Dreyfus, he is Shadow Attorney-General, part of Bill Shorten’s Shadow Cabinet. Mark Dreyfus, good afternoon.
 
MARK DREYFUS, SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Afternoon Raf, thanks for having me.
 
EPSTEIN: Can you say anything? If the prosecutors now have, or are soon going to have a role deciding what should happen to people inside Michaelia Cash’s office, does it change anything that Labor thinks about what went on?
 
DREYFUS: It’s pretty extraordinary that the matter has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions. And of course, this only happens when police have enough evidence to suggest that a crime may in fact have been committed. That’s why you get a referral from the police to the DPP. And I think Michaelia Cash cannot run from this anymore. She can’t pretend it isn’t happening.
 
EPSTEIN: She’s not running from it, she’s resisted a civil case from the union in the court…that’s not running from a police investigation.
 
DREYFUS: Well she’s not running from a police investigation because she can’t. She didn’t turn up at estimates, she hid behind a whiteboard. This has been a farce from the beginning. She denied five times in a Senate estimates hearing that her office had leaked to the media about the raid, and then changed her story. So time’s up, I think she’s acted appallingly in this and should take responsibility for the actions of her staff. Particularly personal advisers.
 
EPSTEIN: The AFP may have handed it to the prosecutor because they want to do everything absolutely by the book. Prosecutors may well agree with them and say ‘oh yeah, little bit there but not enough’.
 
DREYFUS: They might, but the police would not do this, they would not refer to the DPP unless they thought there was evidence that a crime may in fact have been committed.
 
EPSTEIN: Do you think there’s too much involvement of the police with our politicians?
 
DREYFUS: The police have to do their job, Raf – it’s the job of the police to investigate whether crimes have been committed, it’s the job of the police to determine whether charges should be laid, and very often they do that in conjunction with the Director of Public Prosecutions and that’s appropriate. I don’t think one should ever suggest that it’s not appropriate for police or not appropriate for DPPs to have contact with politics, or government. If there’s crimes that have been committed, if there’s wrongdoing then there should be investigation. I’d have to say, today is the six-month anniversary of Labor’s call for a National Integrity Commission. I’m very much in favour of investigating, where there has been wrongdoing. I think at the national level, we need to have another institution called a National Integrity Commission, to investigate wrongdoing, to investigate corruption.
 
EPSTEIN: Is there anything to be concerned about if your state Labor colleagues here are asking Victoria Police to have a look at the Liberal Party, we’ve already got the police looking at the Labor Party, you’ve got the AFP looking into  your opponents federally. Is there a point at which we need to query whether or not the police should be involved this much? Or you’re comfortable with it all?
 
DREYFUS: I think police need to do their job and I’m not for a moment suggesting it’s not very difficult. I was the Federal Attorney-General and the Shadow Attorney-General, I think about these issues on a daily basis. Of course it’s difficult for the police.
 
EPSTEIN: It’s very difficult isn’t it because you’re assessing people’s intent.
 
DREYFUS: It’s very difficult for the police, the police have to avoid any suggestion of political favouritism and I think our police at the state levels in every state, and at the federal level do a very good job. And we’re blessed in that sense in Australia. Some decades back, think Fitzgerald Royal Commission in Queensland, we did have corruption in a police force in Queensland. And I think we’ve immeasurably improved the standard of police forces in every state and territory, and at the federal level. And we’ve got mechanisms in place to make sure that’s so. I’m reminded that the Police Commissioner just went to jail in the Northern Territory just recently. That’s evidence that even the police are not above investigation and where necessary, prosecution. I think Australians all can take heart from the fact that we do have apolitical police, we do have apolitical – as in non-political – Directors of Public Prosecutions. One of the reasons we set up DPPs was to separate the criminal justice system from the political process. So no, I don’t have a problem with police being asked to investigate.
 
EPSTEIN: Just a quick one if I can, on the closely fought battle in Queensland and Tasmania. Labor retained its seats. But the swing to Labor in both of those was not as big as the swing to the government in Bennelong. So were they that much of a success?
 
DREYFUS: I think there was great success for Labor in both seats. A win is a win is a win. If I were the LNP, I would be looking very very closely at what’s happened to them in Queensland.
 
EPSTEIN: That might have been a flawed candidate.
 
DREYFUS: Well they now have a primary vote with a two in front of it, Labor has a primary vote with a four in front of it in Longman. In Braddon, there was an independent who preferenced Labor with nearly 11 per cent of the vote, so you’ve got a particularly local event happening there. On the two-party preferred, we’ve got a very satisfactory outcome in both those seats. Particularly in Queensland. I think I and everybody else in the Labor Party takes great heart from it, and the Liberal Party ought to be very worried in thinking that Malcolm Turnbull is just not connecting with, particularly, Queenslanders.
 
EPSTEIN: We’ll have a chat to the Federal Liberal Party after the news. Thanks so much.
 
DREYFUS: Thanks Raf.
 
ENDS