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Tuesday, 25 May 2004
Page: 28958


Ms MACKLIN (2:28 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. I suspect he might now be aware that—


The SPEAKER —The member for Jagajaga will come to her question.


Ms MACKLIN —he has just misled the parliament. Is the Prime Minister aware that the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations put out a release—


Mr Abbott —Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. The member for Jagajaga has just made a statement in connection to the Prime Minister which I think is most unhelpful and offensive and I think it should be withdrawn.


The SPEAKER —Let me indicate to the member for Jagajaga and to the Leader of the House that, as the Hansard record will show, or as anyone who views the tape will appreciate, because preambles are not permitted before questions, as soon as the member for Jagajaga started her preamble, I did in fact interrupt her. I was therefore unaware of what she said. I was simply aware of the fact that she had made a reference to a prime ministerial previous answer. If the reference is inappropriate, I invite her to either withdraw the reference or rephrase the question, as appropriate.


Ms MACKLIN —Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question is to the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister aware that—

Government members interjecting


The SPEAKER —Order! I did not hear what the member for Jagajaga said. I have taken her word for the level of misappropriation of the language. Prime Minister, I had in fact interrupted the member for Jagajaga during her preamble. I was unaware of what she said, and I have invited her either to withdraw the reference or rephrase the question. She knows that the Hansard will indicate what she said and whether a withdrawal is appropriate.


Ms MACKLIN —Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question is to the Prime Minister—

Government members interjecting


The SPEAKER —The member for Jagajaga will resume her seat.



The SPEAKER —The member for Batman is warned!


Mr Billson —Jenny, we know what you are best at—muckraking!


The SPEAKER —The member for Dunkley is also warned!


Mr Costello —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It was quite clear to anybody who heard the member for Jagajaga that she asserted that the Prime Minister had misled the House. That is an allegation that can only be made on a substantive motion, and I invite you to ask her to either move a substantive motion—



The SPEAKER —The Treasurer will resume his seat. The member for Fraser! I am addressing the member for Fraser! The member for Lalor will resume her seat. I have already indicated to the House that the Hansard record—unless the Hansard recorders face the same disadvantage as I, and that is that I was speaking at the time and the member for Jagajaga's remarks were not directed towards me—will indicate what the member for Jagajaga had to say. She would not appreciate my having to call for a later withdrawal. I am taking her word for whatever she said. She will deal with the matter before the dispatch box as she thinks appropriate.


Ms MACKLIN —My question is to the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister aware that the Minister for Employment Services put out a press release on 21 May this year, just four days ago, attaching a table which set out teenage full-time unemployment data that shows that for the Wide Bay-Burnett area the full-time unemployment rate is in fact 33½ per cent?



The SPEAKER —The member for Fowler!


Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —Yes, I am, and it does not alter anything I have said. Nor does it alter this graph, which shows very clearly what has happened to unemployment rates under this government.

Opposition members interjecting—



The SPEAKER —I warn the member for Fowler!