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Tuesday, 26 May 1998
Page: 3696


Mr REITH (Workplace Relations and Small Business) (3:45 PM) —Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.


Mr SPEAKER —Does the minister claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr REITH —I claim to have been misrepresented by the claim of the member for Charlton (Mr Robert Brown) that I misrepresented him. In support of my claim I quote from an AAP report—

Opposition members interjecting


Mr SPEAKER —I cannot hear anything at the moment. If members persist in intervening, we will have to suspend proceedings until we can hear the minister. The minister has the call.


Mr REITH —To rebut the misrepresentation, I quote from the AAP report of yesterday marked `Priority high' where it says:

But Mr Brown, a junior transport minister in the early 1990s and now a backbencher, called out—

Mr Bevis interjecting


Mr SPEAKER —The member for Brisbane will remain silent.


Mr Leo McLeay —Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. The Minister for Workplace Relations and Small Business has just said that he wants to—


Mr SPEAKER —What is your point of order?


Mr Leo McLeay —I am about to tell you that.


Mr SPEAKER —Will you do so?


Mr Leo McLeay —He said he wants to rebut—


Mr SPEAKER —What is your point of order?


Mr Leo McLeay —He said he wants to rebut what the member for Charlton said. That is not a personal explanation and maybe even you understand that.


Mr SPEAKER —The honourable member will withdraw that implication against me.


Mr Leo McLeay —Mr Speaker, I do not see how you could have seen any implication because it was not meant.


Mr SPEAKER —The member will withdraw that remark.


Mr Leo McLeay —I said it was not meant.


Mr SPEAKER —The honourable member will withdraw that remark.


Mr Leo McLeay —Mr Speaker—


Mr SPEAKER —The honourable member will withdraw that remark.


Mr Leo McLeay —Mr Speaker—


Mr SPEAKER —The honourable member will withdraw that implication.


Mr Leo McLeay —Am I going to get time to do so or are you going to interrupt me all the time?


Mr SPEAKER —The honourable member will withdraw that implication before I address the point of order.


Mr Leo McLeay —Mr Speaker—


Mr SPEAKER —Will you withdraw that implication?


Mr Leo McLeay —If I can get—


Mr SPEAKER —Are you going to withdraw that remark?


Mr Leo McLeay —Can I get two words out and I will.


Mr SPEAKER —You have just got four words out and I have not heard you withdraw. Will you withdraw that remark?


Mr Leo McLeay —If you give me a moment, I will.


Mr SPEAKER —You have now got six words out.


Mr Leo McLeay —Mr Speaker, if you take exception to that, I withdraw it.


Mr SPEAKER —Thank you. I call the Minister for Workplace Relations and Small Business.


Mr Melham —What about the point of order? Are you going to rule on the point of order?


Mr SPEAKER —I will. With respect to the Minister for Workplace Relations and Small Business, he will address—


Mr Martin Ferguson —Sit down and get back in your cell.


Mr SPEAKER —The member for Batman will remain silent. The member for Watson raised a point of order with respect to making a personal explanation.


Mr Leo McLeay —Mr Speaker, is the minister going to resume his seat while you are addressing my point of order?


Mr SPEAKER —I think the honourable member would do well to resume his seat, too. The Minister for Workplace Relations and Small Business will respond where he has been personally misrepresented.


Mr REITH —Mr Speaker, I was misrepresented by the member for Charlton and I table the AAP report.