Wyatt Roy had a (junior?) senior moment this morning and, in his enthusiasm to spruik the benefits of the Australia-India Nuclear Co-operation Agreement, broke an important rule.

Roy chairs Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, which has been considering the agreement that would allow India to buy Australian uranium despite not being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Eager to talk up the benefits of flogging our uranium to India, Roy issued a press release just after 9 this morning. “The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has tabled its report into the Australia — India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, which could see Australian uranium in dozens of new Indian electricity generating nuclear reactors over the coming decades,” the Queensland youngster enthused.

Only problem was, the report hadn’t been tabled and wasn’t planned to be tabled until lunchtime. Leaking or otherwise revealing reports ahead of tabling is a serious breach of parliamentary practice, although it appears to be becoming increasingly common that reports are being dropped to favoured outlets ahead of tabling. An hour later Roy’s press release was “retracted”. “ A replacement media release will be issued later in the day.” Indeed.

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Peter Fray

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