Politics Live: May 14, 2014
Advertisement

Politics Live: May 14, 2014

This is the best day.

Treasurer Joe Hockey departs question time on Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Treasurer Joe Hockey departs question time on Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

As Rudd leaves the witness stand, it is time we escaped into the night, to think about the day with assistance of a mineral water and a slice of lemon.

Before that, what did we learn?

 

Andrew Meares, Alex Ellinghausen and I will type and snap you tomorrow.

Until then, party on voters!

 

The hearing will begin again tomorrow at 9am.

Kevin Rudd has a flight booked later in the day for business commitments, but says he is happy to fit in.

"I'm in your hands."

Commissioner Ian Hanger says that he will adjourn to consider the issues overnight.

It is a real politico-legal pickle.

And one sure to turn up in constitutional law exam questions for many years to come.

 

Advertisement

There is talk that evidence may be taken in private, away from the public.

Lawyers representing the families of the men who were killed urge the commissioner not to do this (given that families may not be able to listen in).

 

Hanger then decides that all of Rudd's statement should be allowed.

"In the public interest."

The Commonwealth lawyers are saying that they will need to seek "instructions".

There is an agreement that the unredacted statement will not be published tonight.

 

Royal Commissioner Ian Hanger QC is unsure of what to do here.

He says he is not sure of what authority he has.

Just by way of background, while all this thrashes out, The Age's political editor Michael Gordon reported in February that Attorney-General George Brandis had written to his predecessor, Mark Dreyfus, saying that the government would make cabinet documents available to the commission.

This was greeted with surprise as the time, given the century-old tradition of cabinet confidentiality, which has been respected by both sides of politics.

Rudd's counsel Bret Walker denies the argument - that has been put forward so far in hearings - that the home insulation scheme was rushed out as a "long weekend idea". 

"As you know, we have an utterly opposite version," he says.

"It is the current government that has brought this about by the terms of reference [of the commission]."

Screen grab of former prime minister Kevin Rudd appearing before the royal commission.

Screen grab of former prime minister Kevin Rudd appearing before the royal commission.

Advertisement

There is a very technical discussion going on with the Commonwealth's lawyer, Tom Howe.

"Principles underpinning", "confidentiality of cabinet deliberations," "public interest point".

The argument - from the Commonwealth's point of view - is that cabinet needs to have discussions kept confidential.

Even when a former member wishes to "ventilate" the material in question.

(Cabinet confidentiality is a very important principle of Australian democracy - it means that discussions in the room can be frank. This is why papers are kept secret for 20 years and notebooks remain secret for 30 years.)

Rudd's team is arguing that his statement has been reduced to "less than half of the truth".

 

There is a very technical discussion going on with the Commonwealth's lawyer, Tom Howe.

"Principles underpinning", "confidentiality of cabinet deliberations," "public interest point."

The argument - from the Commonwealth's point of view - is that cabinet needs to have discussions kept confidential.

Even when a former member wishes to "ventilate" the material in question.

(Cabinet confidentiality is a very important principle of Australian democracy - it means that discussions in the room can be frank. This is why papers are kept secret for 20 years and notebooks remain secret for 30 years.)

Rudd's team is arguing that his statement has been reduced to "less than half of the truth".

 

Most Viewed in Politics

Loading