Oct 27, 2017

Top five: Senate estimates were full of unearthed gems

Looking past the shiny and obvious, this week's Senate estimates hearings were full of newsworthy comments.

Sally Whyte — Political reporter

Sally Whyte

Political reporter

Senate estimates week leaves journos and senators foraging like miners, looking for a nugget of a story by grilling senior public servants and ministers from early in the morning until the wee hours, day after day. This week provided them with a huge win after the Australian Federal Police raided the offices of the Australian Workers Union the day before the Registered Organisations Commission and Employment Minister Michaelia Cash were due to appear before the Senate committee. But while most eyes were trained elsewhere, there were more than a few admissions and statistics that were uncovered, with the possibility of more troubling headlines for the government in coming weeks. 

DFAT and North Korea letter 

On Thursday it was revealed that the "open letter" sent to governments around the world by North Korea only came to the attention of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in media reports of its existence. The letter, which Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop passed on to media outlets last week, warned Australia to distance itself from the US, and was received by the minister on October 3 -- two weeks before it was made public. DFAT assistant secretary Graham Fletcher said it was probably an "oversight" that the letter hadn't been shared with the department.

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4 thoughts on “Top five: Senate estimates were full of unearthed gems

  1. old greybearded one

    I remember Wal from school. Always thought he was a bit lacking in perception.

  2. zut alors

    The wise(?)crack from Mike Pezzullo typifies the heartless bureaucratic attitude to refugees trapped on Nauru & Manus Island. I watched the live telecast in disbelief at the lack of empathy from the Immigration secretary & his limp effort to put down the Senate Estimates process. What a bore, how taxing & gruelling it must be for top-ranking overpaid civil servants to occasionally appear in public & be held accountable.

    With jerks like Pezzullo in administration what hope for the asylum wretches?

    1. klewso

      There’s an awful lot of Monty Burns about Pezzullo – “awful” being the operative word.

  3. DannO

    Definite not in the same order of importance as the items above, but the committee’s grilling of CASA on Friday about its investigation of James Ashby for flying a drone near Parliament House was interesting.

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