Brandis must explain on Bell

Reports in this morning’s West Australian Newspaper, if true, suggest that George Brandis has put the interests of his West Australian Liberal mates ahead of the Commonwealth, the Constitution, the Australian Taxation Office, and hundreds of millions of dollars that was owed to the Australian taxpayer.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY

ACTING SHADOW MINISTER FOR JUSTICE

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

BRANDIS MUST EXPLAIN ON BELL

 

Reports in this morning’s West Australian Newspaper, if true, suggest that George Brandis has put the interests of his West Australian Liberal mates ahead of the Commonwealth, the Constitution, the Australian Taxation Office, and hundreds of millions of dollars that was owed to the Australian taxpayer.

 

This is misconduct of the highest order. If the reports in the West Australian today are true, this looks like moral bankruptcy at its best or corruption at its worst.

 

According to the reports, Senator Brandis promised the West Australian Liberal Party the Commonwealth would not interfere with a law that put West Australia ahead of Commonwealth taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars they were owed, following the collapse of the Bond empire.

 

That’s right – a senior minister of a government which is trying to blame Labor for budgetary issues was willing to deny the budget bottom line hundreds of millions of dollars to keep their West Australian Liberal mates happy.

 

This is a clear example of economic mismanagement at a time when our AAA credit rating is under scrutiny.

 

Brandis must explain – what exactly was the Federal Government hoping to get out of this dodgy secret deal? Was it a compromise to buy off the WA Liberals and end their campaign for a bigger slice of the GST?

 

The former Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson, knew what his duty was: to put the interests of the Commonwealth first. Sadly, Senator Brandis did not appear to think that upholding the constitution was not part of his job.

 

It is not surprising if this resulted in Senator Brandis curtailing Mr Gleeson’s ability to do his job, stopping him Mr Gleeson from giving independent advice to agencies which Mr Brandis did not like.

 

The whole thing stinks. It is not good enough for Senator Brandis to deliver a “no comment”. He must give a frank and full explanation immediately as to what happened.

 

How many goes does one person get? How many times does Senator Brandis get to stuff up before he is sacked?

 

Or is Prime Minister Turnbull so weak that he won’t do anything about it?


FRIDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2016