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Brandis to face Senate inquiry over WA deal

The Senate has voted to establish an inquiry that will investigate the deal between the Western Australian government and the Commonwealth regarding the Bell Act, and the involvement of Attorney-General George Brandis and former Treasurer Joe Hockey.

"This motion passed today compels Senator Brandis and Senator Mathias Cormann to appear before the inquiry to answer questions about their involvement in this deal," Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"The Greens believe that former Treasurer Joe Hockey should also be called to give evidence."

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George Brandis fails to address allegations against him

Attorney-General George Brandis has repeatedly failed to answer the central allegation against him in the Bell Act affair, and should resign or at least stand down until the matter is examined at a Senate inquiry.

"By failing to tell the Parliament whether he instructed the former Solicitor-General to not run a particular argument, Senator Brandis has effectively confessed his guilt," Australian Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

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Greens to push for Senate inquiry into Brandis' deal

The Greens will tomorrow move to refer matters associated with the Bell Group Companies Act (WA) to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

"The allegation that Senator Brandis instructed the Solicitor General to effectively run dead in the High Court are the most serious he has faced in a career that is strewn with misconduct," Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"We need to get Senator Brandis out of witness protection and into an inquiry where he can be questioned about these extraordinary allegations."

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George Brandis must resign or be sacked

If reports of George Brandis instructing the former Solicitor-General to act in a political way and ignore the rule of law are true, he should immediately resign or be sacked as Attorney-General.

"It appears Senator Brandis was trying to interfere with the Solicitor-General to stitch up a politically cosy deal for the Western Australian Liberal Government," Australian Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"If it looks like corruption and smells like corruption, then it probably is corruption."

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Brandis concedes defeat on Legal Services Direction

Attorney-General George Brandis has conceded defeat in his attempt to control the office of the Solicitor-General, Greens Justice Spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"By repealing his flawed Legal Services Direction today, Senator Brandis has sought to avoid the embarrassment of a disallowance motion, but only confirmed his own incompetence and unworthiness to hold his position," Senator McKim said.

"This is too little, too late. It does not change the fact that Senator Brandis misled the Senate over the direction."

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George Brandis' position looking more untenable by the day

Attorney-General George Brandis' disregard for the rule of law and abuse of process calls into question his suitability for the role, Australian Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"Senator Brandis has basically been caught out shopping around for politically convenient legal advice on some of the most contentious issues facing the government," Senator McKim said.

"For the Attorney General to have sidelined the Solicitor General when considering the constitutionality of contentious legislation is an extraordinary development."

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