They said WHAT!? A week of Senate estimates in eight short clips

By The Mandarin

Friday May 25, 2018

One popular pastime during the Senate’s budget estimates is making short video clips of interesting, revealing or bizarre moments and presenting them with little contextual explanation. We’ve compiled some of our favourites from the first week, mostly from ABC and BuzzFeed reporters.


‘Policy capability has eroded — an observation a lot of honest senior executives would make…’ Department of Agriculture and Water Resources secretary Daryl Quinlivan said senior executives were concerned about a capability deficit in terms of policy:


‘You should take your disappointment and leave the room as quickly as you can…’ Executives of the publicly owned Western Sydney Airport company turned up for their scheduled hearing, but there were no senators around to ask them any questions. “That’s just how the cookie crumbles,” said government senator Barry O’Sullivan. The WSA team assured him they were disappointed, even “devastated” at missing out on their interrogation.


‘I wasn’t referring to people at all — if I said it…’ The head of Parliament House security can’t recall if he threatened to put a broom through the whole division, as reported, but he might have.


‘I reckon that’s bulls**t…’ Elsewhere in the Agriculture portfolio, Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority chief executive Chris Parker demonstrated a robust approach to stakeholder management, rubbishing figures from agevt chemical industry lobbyists who have ramped up their demands for reform amid some upheaval caused by the agency’s relocation to Armidale.


‘I promise you, if you catch me in the ladies’ change rooms…’ Senator O’Sullivan investigates the “serious question” of whether male staff at DAWR could tell HR they identify as female and then hang out in the ladies’ room at lunchtime. Why they would, we’re not sure.


‘Did you just call him, ‘mate?’ — the Minister for Finance was shocked — shocked — to hear Senator Wong address the electoral commissioner using such an un-parliamentary term.


‘We don’t know what, if anything, will be referred to our office…’ The opposition is making much of the fact that the Director of Public Prosecutions confirmed her funding for the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce was yet to be renewed. There’s still time, isn’t there?


‘When you walk into my local everyone should be equal…’ Did the PM get told off for pushing in line at a pub? Mathias Cormann reminds Labor’s trivia night champion Kimberley Kitching that hearing both sides of the story is essential to natural justice and procedural fairness.

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