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Monday, 21 June 2004
Page: 30911

Mr KING (3:35 PM) —I wish to give notice, pursuant to the standing orders, that in the grievance debate this afternoon I propose to raise a matter concerning privilege. In the circumstances, because the immediate interference in my role as a parliamentarian in this place has been resolved following action taken by the Prime Minister's office, for which I am grateful, I do not propose to ask for any reference to the committee.

The SPEAKER —The member for Wentworth will resume his seat. He cannot give notice of what he intends to raise in the grievance debate. In fact, we would need to suspend standing orders to allow him to do so. He will, with an arrangements with the whips, be recognised in the grievance debate.

Mr McMullan —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I may not have heard the member for Wentworth correctly, but I understood him to be raising a matter of privilege, in which case he is in order. He did say that he was not seeking it to be referred to the committee, which would be one matter that would be properly referred to you. But, if it is a matter of privilege, I think he is entitled to be heard.

The SPEAKER —Let me reassure the member for Fraser that—although I will check the Hansard record and stand corrected—I did not think the member for Wentworth had made any reference to a matter of privilege, but I will recognise him and hear him out.

Mr KING —I will be brief, Mr Speaker. I mentioned the standing orders, and the relevant rule is standing order 95.

The SPEAKER —Can I just interrupt briefly to inquire: had the member for Wentworth made reference to a matter of privilege?

Mr KING —I had.

The SPEAKER —I apologise.

Mr KING —The issue gives rise to a bigger and unresolved issue—namely, what is acceptable interference in a member's role in this House in the age of electronic communications? I will be recommending that this matter be the subject of inquiry by the Privileges Committee.