Employment Minister Michaelia Cash was rostered on to appear at Senate estimates this morning. She appeared yesterday at hearings of the Education and Employment Committee, no problem. She was in Parliament House. But, strangely, she didn't show up when the committee convened at 9am in committee room 2S3.
ACT Senator Zed Seselja was there instead, and insisted he'd been rostered on "weeks ago". Meanwhile, elsewhere, other, more senior ministers like Mathias Cormann were settling in for the hard slog of 14 hours of hearings. Cash apparently did have time to not let Ann Sudmalis get a word in edgewise in a promotional video for the MP, but not for estimates.
Cash's absence seemed quite the coincidence when, about an hour later, the ABC reported she'd been subpoenaed to give evidence in August in relation to the case against the Australian Workers' Union that saw the media tipped off about AFP raids by Cash's office. Having stonewalled the previous day on her role in the AWU case, Cash now faced some different questions about when she was subpoenaed, whom she told and who would be paying her legal costs, if any.