AFP briefed Malcolm Turnbull on George Christensen’s overseas travel six times


The Member for Dawson is now engaged to Filipino national April Asuncion.

New information provided by the AFP to a Senate committee details a more accurate timeline of who in government was told about the travel “evaluation”.

Martin Parkinson, the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet was first to be notified by police on September 7, 2017.

Mr Turnbull’s briefings started not long after, and he was provided six over the course of about a year.

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“He [Mr Turnbull] certainly asked to be kept informed,” AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin told Parliament in April.

“I think that was quite appropriate in the circumstances.”

Barnaby Joyce, who was deputy prime minister at the time, was also alerted to the probe by police in December 2017.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was informed in 2018, as was Michael McCormack when he assumed leadership of the National Party.

“I’ve not been questioned, or been given any briefings about George Christensen and his travel for 12 months,” Mr McCormack said.

“I believe George has explained everything he needed to explain.”

The Senate hearings also raised concern over whether George Christensen was alerted to the police evaluation while it was ongoing.

Mr McCormack denied telling Mr Christensen, while a spokesperson for Barnaby Joyce said he was on parental leave and “uncontactable”.

“Come clean with the Australian people about whether George Christensen was tipped off.” ALP Senator Murray Watt said.

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The Herald and The Age has also learnt the AFP has 31,969 emails on its database, sent between 2014 and 2018, that mention George Christensen.

It says many are emails “regarding parliamentary inquiries, AFP general protection matters, and media reporting.”

Mr Christensen and Ms Asuncion, who joined him for his election night victory, met in early 2017.

“They’re very much in love,” Mr McCormack said.

Mr Christensen did not respond to questions, while the Deputy Prime Minister attacked what he said was a targeted “smear-campaign”.

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