15 June 2011 Health Minister Nicola Roxon is evading parliamentary scrutiny following exposure of her soaring hypocrisy over financial donations from tobacco companies.
The Minister failed to appear today at the annual committee sessions to consider the Government’s Budget bills in detail.
Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said it was clear that the Minister was dodging questions about her attempts to solicit funding from the cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris in 2005 – more than a year after the Labor Party declared it would no longer accept donations from tobacco companies.
The Consideration in Detail sittings enable Members of Parliament to question Ministers over a sustained period. Minister Roxon has attended the sessions every other year since Labor came to power.
“Revelations of the Minister’s incredible hypocrisy require an explanation,” Mr Dutton said.
“This Minister has been saying one thing publicly – that she and her party would never accept donations from tobacco companies – and privately she has been writing letters to executives of at least one company soliciting their financial support for her re-election.”
“Minister Roxon sought that financial support even though her party had publicly declared it would not accept such funds.”
Mr Dutton today called on the Prime Minister Julia Gillard to reveal whether other Labor MPs, party branches or associated entities had sought funding from tobacco manufacturers since 2004.
Earlier today the Gillard Government refused to debate an Opposition motion that the Minister explain to Parliament why she publicly criticised tobacco company donations to political parties, but privately sought their financial support.
“What has Labor got to hide?” Mr Dutton queried.