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Tuesday, 8 August 2006
Page: 17

Mr BEAZLEY (3:18 PM) —My question to you, Mr Speaker, goes along the same lines. I would ask that you check the record in relation to the performance of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, when he was clearly requested to make a withdrawal. During the course of question time you will recollect that I was requested to make a withdrawal even though my remarks were not directed at any member opposite. My remarks were directed at the behaviour of certain members of a minister’s department. Nevertheless, because the member requested that I should withdraw those remarks because he found them offensive, even though they were not directed at him or any member in this place, I observed, and was invited by you to observe, the convention that, when a member of parliament finds a remark of another offensive, that remark is withdrawn. So I withdrew.

In the case of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, he was asked explicitly to withdraw remarks he made about the member for Sydney—I am sure, when you check the record, you will see those remarks. You then requested him, properly, within the framework of the conventions of this place as observed later in question time, to withdraw the remarks that he made about the member for Sydney. The Minister for Foreign Affairs obviously wants to join the Leader of the House in bullying women and he wishes to be able to get away with it. I do think, Mr Speaker, you should examine the record.

The SPEAKER —There is no need to debate the point.

Mr Abbott —Mr Speaker, I ask that the Leader of the Opposition be required to withdraw that remark.

Mr Beazley —I withdraw, Mr Speaker.

The SPEAKER —I thank the Leader of the Opposition. In responding to the Leader of the Opposition, I will check the record.

Mr Tuckey —Mr Speaker, on a point of order relevant to this matter, the difference that was explicit was that the minister was at the dispatch box and could obviously be clearly heard by you. But, secondly, the member for Sydney was sniggering, because I saw her.

The SPEAKER —The member for O’Connor will resume his seat.

Mr Ripoll —Take your pills, Wilson!

Mr Tuckey interjecting

The SPEAKER —Order! The member for O’Connor is warned!

Mr Price —On a point of order, Mr Speaker, is it in order for a member to rise in their place and scream out interjections?

The SPEAKER —The Chief Opposition Whip may have missed me giving a warning to the member for O’Connor.