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Tuesday, 13 June 2006
Page: 37

Mr STEPHEN SMITH (3:20 PM) —Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

The SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?


The SPEAKER —Please proceed.

Mr STEPHEN SMITH —I have been misrepresented by the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations in a press release issued after question time the last time we met, Thursday, 1 June. In that press release, he asserted that I quoted the chair of the government’s low pay commission in the following terms:

‘pushes the Low Pay Commission to reduce the minimum wage in real terms’.

I refer to a draft of the question distributed in advance of question time for media purposes where the only work that is in quotation marks is the word ‘pushes’. I refer to the Hansard chamber green distributed by the Content Management Branch which has the word ‘pushes’ in quotes. I refer to the daily Hansard which has the following:

... and I quote—‘pushes’ ...

And I refer to Professor Harper, the chair of the government’s low pay commission on the Lateline program of 31 May 2006, in response to a question about minimum wages going down in real terms, saying:

... the act pushes us there.

I did not make the quotation that the minister misleadingly asserts.