Doorstop interview

  • Transcript, E&OE

JOURNALIST: Minister what's your response to the latest news on Sam Dastyari please?

JULIE BISHOP: The release of this audio tape is further evidence of Senator Sam Dastyari's dishonesty. It is time for his lies and his cover-ups to stop. Senator Dastyari's failure to deny these allegations means his position as a Senator is untenable. Bill Shorten must take action now. Bill Shorten can no longer defend Senator Dastyari and as a first step he must remove Senator Dastyari from the frontbench. Senator Dastyari must reconsider his position in the Australian Senate.

JOURNALIST: So are you calling on Sam Dastyari to resign, to leave the Parliament?

JULIE BISHOP: I'm calling on Bill Shorten to take action. As a first step, Bill Shorten must remove Senator Dastyari from Labor's frontbench, and I'm calling on Senator Dastyari to reconsider his position as a Senator. The fact that he has failed to deny these allegation, makes his position as a Senator untenable. It is indefensible.

JOURNALIST: Do you think Australia's position on the South China Sea which is broadly now bipartisan, or has been bipartisan for some time, can that be up for negotiation, or should it simply be something that's beyond, at least for the moment, a question of debate?

JULIE BISHOP: What Senator Dastyari did was accept funding from an overseas benefactor and then act at the urging of his benefactor, changed Labor's policy on the South China Sea. He addressed a press conference, standing next to his Chinese benefactor and he contradicted Labor's policy, and government policy, but he contradicted Labor's policy on the South China Sea. And then he lied about the audio tape. The release of that audio tape is further evidence of his dishonest behaviour.

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