NSW police chief annoyed over 'diversions'

Finbar O'Mallon and Kathryn Bermingham
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QUESTION TIME

Christian Porter has confirmed he was present during a call made by Scott Morrison to Mick Fuller

The NSW police commissioner described a referral to him about Energy Minister Angus Taylor as yet another "great diverter of my time".

Attorney-General Christian Porter confirmed in parliament on Monday he was present on a call made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to Mick Fuller.

Mr Morrison was seeking to clarify basic details about an investigation into Mr Taylor, which had been based on a referral to NSW police by shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus.

Mr Porter said the police chief was aware of his presence on the call.

"He (Mr Fuller) said the prime minister didn't ask any questions that were inappropriate," Mr Porter said.

"I also note with respect to that call he said something else very interesting.

"He said that matters like the one that was referred by the shadow attorney-general are, in his words, 'a great diverter of my time'."

Mr Porter condemned Mr Dreyfus over a series of referrals to police in regard to coalition members.

"What has come of those referrals? Absolutely nothing."

Asked by Mr Dreyfus in parliament whether he had sought legal advice about the appropriateness of the phone call by the prime minister, Mr Porter said it was not the sort of phone call which required such advice.

"It was so basic and simple."

Mr Porter appeared to pre-empt the police finding, telling parliament "when the inevitable response comes from the (police) that this is a big, fat no, nothing to answer, no investigation, nothing ... absolute silence".

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton earlier said the prime minister made the right call by contacting Mr Fuller.

Mr Morrison had an obligation to do so under the ministerial code of conduct, he told reporters in Canberra.

"I think his actions were entirely appropriate to make the enquiries," Mr Dutton said.

Mr Taylor is under investigation for giving a newspaper doctored documents to attack the travel expenses of the Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore.

A police strike force is expected to report back as early as this week.

The prime minister has refused to stand down Mr Taylor, despite the police inquiry.

He has also refused to detail what was said during the call with Mr Fuller.

For his part, Mr Fuller said the call was extremely short and denied having a personal relationship with the prime minister.

The NSW Greens have referred to Mr Fuller to the state's police integrity watchdog over the phone call.

Meanwhile, Labor has launched a separate attack on Mr Taylor over an alleged failure to declare interests in a company named GFA F1 Pty Ltd.

"He is under an obligation to declare to the house and to the prime minister all interests in which he holds a direct or an indirect interest," opposition frontbencher Mark Butler told reporters.

"It's a serious contempt of the house."

Asked about the issue in parliament, Mr Taylor said he had properly declared all required financial interests.