ABC News Journalist Joe O’Brien interview with Geoffrey Watson SC 21 October 2021


‘The Morrison Government to establish a broad inquiry into the Anonymous Fee Donor Rules after blocking Christian Porter’s referral to Inquiry!’  Read more!

AND view the response from Geoffrey Watson SC, Director, The Centre for Public Integrity.  Find the link at the end … 

‘This government has trashed transparency’:
Geoffrey Watson says there are a number of questions that need answering …


-in terms of the Process this is contrary to over 100 years of Parliamentary

.established good practice

-the actions of the Government are an attack on the independence of the speaker; designed to keep the donors secret; giving scope to Mr Porter to refuse to reveal who the donors are; why should the
Parliament accept that?

.why should MPs not bound by the same concepts of confidentiality accept that?

.why has the Government stepped in behind Mr Porter to protect these donors from becoming publicly known?

-it is not political because it went through the Speaker; the Speaker came to a position there was a prima facie case worth investigating; that is not political; it is the opposite independent of political process

-the Morrison Government has engaged in measures designed to crush transparency; this has been going on since 2013 when Mr Morrison announced on Water Matters in 2013

.a government opposed to transparency

.labelling the meaning of the First Minister as the National Cabinet; it is rubbish

-everyone has bandied around the figure of $1M; it is unknown when the offer was made; if it was made before settlement; did it include an indemnity in respect of Mr Porter’s own costs

.there might have been a promise of $ Millions and Millions involved

-this sets a bad precedence; if a Blind Trust is an effective device to hide the source of money, why not in other instances?

THE difference between process and substance:

1.  you have harmed the reputation of Parliament

2. undermined the independence of the Speaker

3. confined or restricted Parliament’s ability to scrutinize the conduct of its own members

4.  engaged in a Cover-up

-makes a mockery of the Register of Interests; we are not going to be allowed to know

-Mr Watson’s role an independent role; not a Party political role; he has avoided this at all costs

-over the last 7 years watched this same government trash transparency; trashed integrity

-now in the process of trashing Parliamentary Procedure

‘… Something has gone wrong with this government I’d say that it is time for this government to go! …

As soon as I heard about this, (independence) it really really troubled me;  I haven’t come to that statement lightly. …

… I am urging anybody who has got faith in the Parliamentary system, those colleagues of the Speaker, Mr Smith, who have got faith in his good judgment – I am urging them to cross the floor!

A number of people under challenge because they are in inner city seats – Mr Sharman and Mr Zimmerman – who were saying “I don’t agree with everything the government is saying”.  Well, prove
it!  Why don’t you just cross the floor on a matter of conscience like this … in fact they just act as a herd!’

-this has damaged Parliament; it is not just a day to day issue; defiled the role of the Speaker and crossed the line!


‘Government to establish broad inquiry into anonymous fee donor rules after blocking
Christian Porter’s referral to inquiry’

CAAN has since been provided with this link covering the full interview:

Go straight to 31:00 in the link below. Thursday 21/10/2021. Geoffrey Watson (Centre for Public
Integrity) has spoken.