JOURNALIST Ms Bishop was it wrong to use $30,000 worth of taxpayer money to get the VIP jet from WA to Canberra? Should you not have cut short your dinner and used a commercial flight?
JULIE BISHOP This was an official event. I was representing Prime Minister Turnbull at the closing of Telethon, the largest charity event in Western Australia to raise funds for the Children's Hospital and children's health and medical research. It raised a record $25 million and I congratulate Channel 7, Telethon, Sunday Times and all involved as well as the donors. The Australian Government provided $1.5 million.
It was not a private dinner. In fact, it was televised live on Channel 7. It was not a private jet, it is the government ministerial jet and I used it precisely as it is intended, to enable ministers to fulfil their ministerial responsibilities when commercial options are not available.
We left at 11pm, flew overnight and arrived in Canberra, curfew permitting, at 6am and I went straight into meetings. So this is precisely what the Government ministerial jet is used for and I used it in accordance with the guidelines.
JOURNALIST Is it tenable for Mal Brough to remain as Special Minister of State?
JULIE BISHOP I believe the Labor Party should be aware of what’s called due process and in my view due process in relation to this matter should be allowed to run and therefore the matter should be part of this investigation, due process - allow it to run.
JOURNALIST Minister, did he mislead Parliament yesterday?
JULIE BISHOP No, I do not believe he did.
JOURNALIST Why not?
JULIE BISHOP Because I don't believe he did.
JOURNALIST How unhelpful is it that Mr Abbott continues to talk about the events leading up to the leadership spill?
JULIE BISHOP I have nothing to add on that matter.
JOURNALIST Is it frustrating though that he continues to talk about it when the Government is trying to focus on policy instead?
JULIE BISHOP I've just spent the weekend in Geelong at Sarah Henderson's electorate in Corangamite and the feedback that I got from people as we were doorknocking, as we held community functions, was that they were very positive about the Government’s agenda. They are very excited about the National Innovation and Science Agenda that we will be announcing next week and there is a feeling of goodwill and a momentum behind this as people are urging us to get on with our job of governing the country and they appreciate the positive optimistic message and particularly the focus on job opportunities and economic growth. That's what the Australian public have been saying to me, not just in Geelong over the weekend, but as I’ve travelled around Australia.
JOURNALIST Did you propose Marise Payne and Sussan Ley to join the Cabinet in September 13, or October 2013?
JULIE BISHOP These matters have been canvassed in the media and I have nothing to add. So if there are no other questions on policy, I'm happy to go.
- Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555