Junior federal minister Stuart Robert today showed how not to answer questions about integrity and, in the process, damaged the government.
Three times the Opposition asked Robert to define the actual capacity he attended a ming industry function in China.
Because the government has referred the matter to the head of the Public Service, Robert used the “out” clause of “the matter is under investigation, or lack of words to that effect.
By inference, Robert has given the impression he could be guilty, simply because he hasn’t provided an open and full answer.
It’s the age-old wrong PR tack to take: avoid an answer until you’re in the clear … or not.
All well and good if Robert is hedging his bets but, as I said, he has damaged the government by not being up-front.
See his answers here: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/stuart-robert-scandal-deepens-as-labor-demands-answers-over-ministerial-meeting-20160208-gmoxps.html