Doorstop Parliament House Canberra > Mitch Fifield, Liberal Senator for Victoria

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MENTONE VIC 3194

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19-October-2017

 

Doorstop

Press Gallery Parliament House Canberra
19 September 2017

7:50am

 

Text Box: Subject: Andrew Wilkie allegations, citizenship legislation, ABC and SBS legislation

E & OE

 

JOURNALIST:

Does there need to be a Senate inquiry into these Crown Casino allegations?

FIFIELD:

Ultimately it’s up to the Senate what it chooses to have an inquiry into it.  But the Minister for Justice, Michael Kennan, has already made clear that AUSTRAC takes any allegations seriously and will investe those.  The other allegations that have been made fall squarely into the responsibility of the Victorian Government, its law enforcement agencies and its regulators.

JOURNALIST:

Have you been in contact at all with the Victorian State Government?

FIFIELD:

I haven’t been in contact with the Victorian State Government.  But I don’t have responsibility for gambling, I have responsibility for online gaming.  The Victorian State Government has responsibility for casinos and for poker machines and venues.

JOURNALIST:

These are allegations at this stage, but given how serious they are, are you concerned that they could be more widespread across the industry?

FIFIELD:

We have a federal system of government in Australia where there is divided responsibilities. And the states have responsibility for the licensing of casinos and for the licensing of poker machines.  And I am sure that all state jurisdictions take those responsibilities seriously.

JOURNALIST:

Just moving onto the citizenship changes.  Does the government have any chance of reviving these reforms?

FIFIELD:

I will leave matters to do with next steps in relation to that legislation to Peter Dutton.

JOURNALIST:

And where are we with regards to the reforms with the ABC?

FIFIELD:

We’ve introduced into the Parliament legislation to put the words fair and balanced into the ABC Act, alongside the existing requirement to be accurate and impartial.  We have also introduced legislation into the Senate to put the words rural and regional in the ABC’s charter to have explicit recognition of the ABC’s responsibility.  And with all legislation that we bring before the Parliament I will be working hard to convince the majority of my colleagues to support these good propositions.

JOURNALIST:

What’s the feeling at the moment?  Do you believe you have the support of most of them?

FIFIELD:

Well we will find out.  There are already predictions that we won’t be successful.  But those same predictions were made before the ABCC legislation. Which we passed.  They made the same predications before the school education reform legislation. Which we passed.  They made the same predications before the media reform package. Which we passed.  So we have got a pretty good track record.  And we will be making the case to the colleagues.

JOURNALIST:

Are you unfairly targeting the ABC?

FIFIELD:

Well the ABC receives more than $1 billion of taxpayer funding every year.  It’s appropriate that there is good transparency.  And it’s appropriate that the public have high expectations for the public broadcaster.  And that is what our legislation is about.

 [ends]