Innovation and Jobs Minister Michaelia Cash has repeatedly threatened to name “every young woman” in Bill Shorten’s office that she has heard rumours about in an extraordinary row at Senate estimates.
Responding to repeated demands by Labor Senator Doug Cameron to name her new chief of staff, Senator Cash shot back that that was a “dangerous road” he was walking.
“If you want to start discussing staff matters be very, very careful. Because I’m happy to sit here and name every young woman in Mr Shorten’s office about which rumours in this place abound.
“If you want to go down that path today I will do it.”
Senator Cash angrily repeated her threat when Senator Cameron responded “that’s a nonsense”.
“Do you want to start naming them? Do you want to start naming them and have Mr Shorten deny any of the rumours that have been circulating in this building now for many, many years? Dangerous path to go down and you know it.
Senator Cameron then told her to “take what the young people call a chill pill and you might be okay”.
The estimates hearing broke to a private session after the row, with the chair Lucy Gichuhi asking members to not name staffers and their private affairs as per convention.
Labor was grilling Senator Cash over the background of her new and former staffers after her media adviser David De Garis resigned last year for leaking news of police raids on the Australian Workers Union offices to the media.
This article was originally published by the Australian Financial Review. Read the original here, or follow the AFR on Facebook.
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