Turnbull set for reshuffle as Labor attack fails

LABOR failed in an attempt to censure the Prime Minister for not sacking embattled Human Services Minister Stuart Robert on Thursday over his role in a Chinese mining deal signing ceremony.

After a week of attacks, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten led more attacks on Mr Robert in parliament on Thursday, asking a series of questions about Mr Robert's trip to China.

Mr Robert has faced pressure over what he has said was a "personal trip" to China to attend a signing ceremony between Chinese state-owned MinMetals and Liberal donor Paul Marks's Nimrod Resources.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this week referred the matter to Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Dr Martin Parkinson for investigation.

That investigation was expected to be completed this week ahead of a likely ministerial re-shuffle this weekend.

The reshuffle follows the controversy this week around Mr Robert and the resignation of then-Cities Minister Jamie Briggs and Mal Brough standing aside over the summer.

Despite facing a series of questions about the matter, Mr Robert repeatedly referred all Opposition queries to a previous answer he gave parliament that he believed he did not behave "inappropriately".

Mr Shorten again told parliament he believed it was a blatant breach of the ministerial code of conduct, which says ministers cannot act on behalf of companies in a personal capacity.

Mr Turnbull also faced questions on the controversy, particularly on the scope of Dr Parkinson's inquiry and what information he was given to investigate the matter.

But Mr Turnbull repeatedly said he had dealt with the matter in accordance with "due process" and "accountability" and he was waiting on Dr Parkinson's report.

Mr Shorten finally moved a censure motion against Mr Turnbull for not sacking Mr Robert and Mr Robert, for not resigning from the ministry.

But Leader of the House Christopher Pyne slammed the Opposition for wasting parliament's time with the issue throughout the week.

While Mr Pyne had previously gagged debate on Labor's censure motion earlier this week, he allowed the motion to be put on Thursday.

Ultimately, Labor's censure motion failed as the government had the numbers.


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