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Thursday, 21 August 2003
Page: 19225


Mr GAVAN O'CONNOR (2:50 PM) —My question is to the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government. I ask the question in light of his answer to the previous question relating to the `swirl and fog of question time' and his lengthy explanation to the House, which ignored the question that I asked in relation to natural justice. Why has the minister repeatedly and falsely claimed in this House that his son was denied natural justice? Isn't it the case that full natural justice—


Mrs Bronwyn Bishop —I rise on a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I draw your attention to standing order 76, which says:

All imputations of improper motives and all personal reflections on Members shall be considered highly disorderly.

It does also require you, Mr Speaker, to intervene under standing order 77 and, if the member persists, under 303 he should be named by you. I ask you to uphold the standing orders and ask him to desist or indeed to name him.


The SPEAKER —The member for Corio will start his question again and not use the term that he used. I agree with the member for Mackellar. I cannot even recall the word, precisely, but he knows what I am referring to.


Mr GAVAN O'CONNOR —I will rephrase the question. My question is to the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government. Why has the minister repeatedly and falsely claimed in this House that his son was denied natural justice? Isn't it the case that full natural justice was granted to the minister's son but the minister sought a political fix to get the outcome he wanted? Given that the minister has seriously misled the House on the pursuit of the natural justice issue, will he now resign?


Mrs Bronwyn Bishop —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The member for Corio still used the word `falsely' in the question which was supposed to be reworded. I would again draw your attention to standing order 76. There is imputation continually coming from the member opposite and personal reflections on the minister, and I would ask that you ask him to desist from so doing, in accordance with standing order 76.


The SPEAKER —The member for Mackellar is right that the question contained an imputation. Unfortunately it is not new. I will allow the question to stand. I ask the member for Corio to reconsider the way in which he phrases future questions. The question stands.


Mr TUCKEY (Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government) —The answer I gave previously does identify issues relating to natural justice, and I do not have any more to add.