Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Shadow Attorney-General

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator for Western Australia


24 MAY 2023


Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus’s appalling lack of transparency has been exposed in Senate estimates hearings today.

The Department he oversees was caught out refusing to provide the Opposition information it requested to assist in preparation for Budget Estimates, information it routinely provided to Labor when in opposition.

Shadow Attorney-General Senator Michaelia Cash questioned Department Secretary Katherine Jones about a letter sent on behalf of Opposition Senators in preparation for the estimates process.

When Labor was in Opposition, there was at least two occasions when the Attorney-General’s Department provided a significant amount of information in advance of Senate Estimates to Labor Senators, however, when Coalition Senators requested similar information, it was refused by Mr Dreyfus’s Department.

“Mr Dreyfus has spoken many times about transparency, but his own Department doesn’t comply with the most basic principles of transparency and impartiality by refusing to provide information, and treating the Labor Party differently to the Coalition,’’ Senator Cash said.

“It is very disappointing that Mr Dreyfus’s own Department has made a mockery of the Albanese Government’s public commitment to transparency and good governance. Mr Dreyfus either has no control over his own Department or he is turning a blind eye to their appalling behaviour,’’ she said.

“Mr Dreyfus also needs to explain whether he or his office have instructed the department not to provide the requested information to the Opposition,’’ she said.

“The Attorney-General should immediately instruct his Department to treat the present Opposition in the same way as they treated Labor when they were in opposition if he is actually serious about promoting transparency.’’ Senator Cash said.

“Mr Dreyfus talks a big game about transparency but falls well short of the standards he is so fond of espousing,’’ she said.