A few observations from Monday’s Senate Estimates hearings:
Ministers Michaelia Cash and Michael Keenan both declined two requests from the AFP to be interviewed and provide witness statements regarding the media tipoff about the raids on AWU offices.
ASIO made it very clear that they did not provide any advice about boats restarting due to the medevac bill and they were pissed off that The Australian (and some politicians) had suggested otherwise. Their only advice related to the people who could be excluded by ministerial discretion under ASIO rules.
Home Affairs boss Mike Pezullo said Peter Dutton had nothing to do with the contract to Paladin to provide services on Manus. In fact, he was rather dismissive saying “He makes the policy. I make the decisions.”
Derryn Hinch asked if there was a relationship between Paladin employee Karen Dutton and Peter Dutton. The question was taken on notice.
Paladin was given $89 million in the months before it signed a contract. There was no tender process. The department approached them directly.
Senator Linda Reynolds has officially joined the dark side after her promotion to assistant minister for Home Affairs. To say she was obstructionist would be understating her lack of contribution and her actual interference with the process.
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