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Role of the Opposition under Dutton : Just waste Parliament’s Time !

The current parliamentary sitting has been noteworthy for the attempts by the opposition to ‘ping’ Labor ministers for being in breach of the new code of conduct. It seems that the opposition have dedicated the time of their staff to combing through ministerial declarations of interests trying to find instances where a minister may be in breach of the new code.

Albanese has gone to some considerable lengths to present a ministerial code of conduct that leaves little wriggle room for ministers and clears up the loopholes that the former coalition government ministers were able to exploit.

In particular, the use of Blind Trusts has been outlawed : who can forget the use of a blind trust by former Attorney General Christian Porter to pay legal costs for a defamation action he launched against the ABC using funds, the source of which has never been disclosed.

The new code requires that: “Ministers will not have any direct shareholdings. Ministers are required to divest themselves of shareholdings, except in superannuation and other broadly diversified managed funds. There will be no ‘blind trust’ arrangements,” under this code.

“Ministers will be personally responsible for their private interests. Ministers won’t be allowed to delegate that responsibility to anyone else, such as in a ‘blind trust’ arrangement.”

This is the full code for those interested.

Probably the only criticism of this code is that, in trying to be proscriptive it can be confusing as Attorney General Mark Dreyfus found in Question Time on Thursday following a barrage of questions over his self-managed superannuation fund : fortunately the code allows for external scrutiny and advice in circumstances where there is ambiguity which seems to be the case with Dreyfus.

On the positive side, it is good that the Albanese government has moved quickly to update the code of conduct for ministers and to address some of the glaring omissions of the past – for instance as was noted in the parliament on Thursday pretty well all of the former governments’ ministers would have been in breach of this code of conduct and several engaged in multiple breaches.


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  1. pierre wilkinson

    but it is only illegal and corrupt if Labor are caught doing it

  2. andy56

    They will remain irrelevant for a long time. They are not using the time to develop good policies. Australians have had a gut full of Abbott style politics. I would have thought they would try to be more positive, i guess its like asking trump to stop telling lies.

  3. New England Cocky

    Does the new code of conduct allow Opposition members to bonk their staff? Beetrooter will be upset …..

  4. Cool Pete

    Potty Boy is not an intellectual, he is another version of Botty.


    There is more than one way to skin a cat or a fish.
    I am sure it will be done one way or another.
    If you want to get rich, get into politics.

  6. Howarth

    Holding the government to account does not mean destroying it. On the contrary, a good Opposition needs to know it is OK to support.

  7. Kathryn

    My God, the appalling, insufferable arrogance, conceited condescending hubris and stratospheric hypocrisy of the totally corrupt, self-serving, pathological liars and political parasites in the LNP to have the GALL and TEMERITY to lay criticism and sanctimonious judgement upon the Albanese ALP government is beyond intolerable! This contemptuous criticism from a ravaging, destructive, totally inept and dangerously undemocratic regime who have achieved nothing – absolutely NOTHING – to benefit the lives of ordinary Australians in ten, long appalling years of total depravity absolutely reeks of sanctimonious hypocrisy! The only things the disreputable Abbott/Morrison regimes have managed to do with any level of effectiveness is to DEFUND every program that benefits our society and our taxpayer-funded ABC into oblivion and tear down our (once) very fine international reputation.

    Can you just IMAGINE the shrieking cries and never-ending screams of outrage by the LNP if it was a Labor PM who made the fascist move to collude with a thoroughly discredited Governor General, David Hurley, in order to take over the portfolios of at least five of his ministers (that we know about) to rule over us like a fascist autocratic member of some third world African nation? This is EXACTLY what that smug, born-to-rule, internationally disgraced, political psychopath, Scott Morrison, did without a shred of remorse nor, indeed, one second of consequence! Morrison is, indeed, the deplorable dictatorial, conniving sociopath who is responsible for one of the worst, most undemocratic acts since the LAST infamous act of collusion between the Governor General, John Kerr, a disgraced serial drunk and the Kerr’s cur, Malcolm Fraser, when they totally disregarded the wishes of Australians and, with great assistance from the vindictive Murdoch press, managed to over-ride democracy and unlawfully dismiss the best, highest achieving PM in our history, Gough Whitlam! This was one of the worst, most devious political crimes in this nation’s history and one that divided our nation for decades! Did the arrogant LNP autocrats and their complicit governor generals learn anything from this experience? CLEARLY NOT!

    The fact is that it is the LNP, in collusion with deplorable, ultra-conservative, blatantly LNP -supporting governor generals, who have resorted to fascism in order to undermined, discredit and even unlawfully dismiss democratically-elected left-wing ALP governments in our nation! This proves there is absolutely NOTHING democratic or liberal about the LNP or the Governor General position in this nation.

    Whilst most of us are, indeed, saddened to hear about the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we must never forget that she was an outstanding representative for the UK and, quite rightly, put the interests of the UK way, way ahead of any interest she had in Australia! As such, after her sad passing, IT IS NOW OVERTIME for Australia to grow up, move on and become a democratic Republic and, for once and for all, GET RID of the appalling role of Governor General, an UNELECTED POSITION that – history has proven – only represents a foreign power in this nation and/or the arrogant ambitions of the ultra-conservative autocrats in the LNP!

  8. paul walter

    Kathryn, you know the old story: “Blame Labor”.

    They will blame them for assassinating the late Queen, they are that far down the tube.

    I think your comments are pretty right, but I stay pessimistic given the enormity of the task ahead.

  9. Kathryn

    Paul, thank you for your comment. Sadly, you are spot-on and people like you and I need to CALL THE LNP OUT for their ongoing corruption and remorseless hypocrisy every time we see it. Also, we need to keep reminding deluded Australians who keep on and on voting for the LNP/Murdoch/IPA Alliance that the horrendous collaboration between these depraved, self-serving character-assassinating grubs has proven to be so unspeakably destructive to our democracy and to Australians’ basic right to expect truthful impartial reporting in our media! The above fascist Alliance, in combination with the blatant right-wing bias of governor generals in this nation, has proven to be a formidable, deceitful and relentlessly underhanded opponent to the ALP, the Greens and/or anyone who has the character, courage and discernment to speak out LONG AND LOUDLY against the lies and depravity of the born-to-rule-at-any-cost ultra-conservative Australian Tories in the LNP!

  10. Roswell

    What Paul said. I’m with him.

  11. paul walter

    Roswell, you are a scholar and a gentle-person.

    A definitive judgement.

  12. Roswell

    All of the above, Paul.

  13. wam

    Your last paragraph, dance, is albo’s risk.
    Dutton can do nothing more than carp till the teals give him a hint of their support for the libs.
    reds like it oops reads like it my have loopholes.
    Is ‘in the wife’s name’ affected?
    Ministers divest themselves of investments and other interests in any public or private company or business, other than public superannuation funds or publicly listed managed funds or trust arrangements?
    Dreyfus and self-managed super could be a worry?
    To my knowledge the pollies’ scheme is great so the dreyfus is open to theories??

  14. Terence Mills

    The coalition have been assiduous in pursuing Labor ministers.

    Regional Development, Local Government and Territories Minister Kristy McBain and her husband last week rushed to sell shares in several private companies including Bega Cheese, Australian Foundation Investment Company and Polynovo.
    Kristy McBain had divested all her shares “pre-emptively” by transferring them to her husband as soon as she was told she would be sworn in as a minister.

    That was not good enough for the coalition (and SKY) were all over it like a rash saying that there could still be a perception of a conflict of interests : since then her husband has sold these shares.

    Bill Shorten was also under the steely gaze of coalition sleuths (and SKY). He and his brother inherited shares in Murrumbeena/East Malvern Community Financial Services Limited following the death on their mother in 2014.
    “My late mum needed to have a very modest number of shares in order to open an account with the community bank,” Shorten said.
    Mr Shorten said the shares were not publicly traded and had a total value of about $100 at the time but he has since divested himself of these shares.

    The coalition have used their available questions in Question Time to pursue these relatively trivial matters in our parliament ; evidently they have nothing more important to discuss or to hold the government to account on. If I were an ardent Liberal supporter I would be severely disappointed in my party and its priorities.

  15. GL


    If anything can be said to be truly part of the LNP’s DNA then it’s the exclusive gene sequence for selective amnesia.

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