SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

TRANSCRIPT

11 September 2019

DOORSTOP – CANBERRA

TOPICS: GLADYS LIU, ILLEGAL DONATIONS TO THE LIBERAL PARTY, LEADERSHIP TEST FOR SCOTT MORRISON, MARISE PAYNE

E&OE - PROOF ONLY

PENNY WONG, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY IN THE SENATE: Last night Gladys Liu gave an interview which has got a fair bit of media.

Let’s start with remembering this: there have been questions raised for some time about whether Ms Liu is a fit and proper person to be in the Australian Parliament.

She gave an interview last night in an attempt to answer some of those questions and we’ve only ended up with more questions.

So this is a test for Scott Morrison. He needs to come to the Parliament, make a statement and assure the Australian Parliament and through them the Australian people that Gladys Liu is a fit and proper person to be in the Australian Parliament.

The Prime Minister of this country needs to assure the Parliament that one of his MPs is a fit and proper person to be in the Parliament.

I would make this point: I can recall the Liberal Party making Sam Dastyari a test of Bill Shorten’s leadership; well this is Scott Morrison’s test.

This is Scott Morrison’s test.

And there’s another test for Scott Morrison, he claimed in parliament yesterday he was for integrity and against corruption, the same day that the Liberal Party voted against a national integrity commission.

We’ve seen revelations in the papers about an illegal donation in his own state, NSW, to the Liberal Party. Let’s see Scott Morrison do something about these illegal donations, again another test for him.

I also want to make some comment about my counterpart Marise Payne who I see from the national paper has rejected Labor’s request for a briefing on China and the relationship with China – a broader briefing for parliamentarians.

The Senator claims that she’s leading the discussion when it comes to the China relationship. Well, I’d say this: You don’t lead a discussion by not saying anything. You don’t lead a discussion by not saying anything.

I think what we have at the moment is a very clear position where the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister – at a time when this relationship is extremely challenging (inaudible) are simply vacating the field.

I’m happy to take questions.

JOURNALIST: Why did Rex Patrick’s enquiry to China not get up in the Senate?

WONG: I issued a release about that enquiry. I’ll refer you to that release.

Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.