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Tuesday, 8 August 2006
Page: 18

Ms PLIBERSEK (3:21 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.

Ms PLIBERSEK —Today while answering a question, the Minister for Foreign Affairs said, amongst other things:

All they will do is cause war—that is all they will do. Some people on the other side may mock, as the member for Sydney does, but my view is that all those people will do is cause war.

And so on. Mr Speaker, I took objection to two things in that statement and we have only dealt with one. I wish to make a personal explanation in relation to both of those.

The SPEAKER —The member will come to her point.

Ms PLIBERSEK —The first thing that I wish to make a personal explanation on is that the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

Mrs Bronwyn Bishop —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Mr Speaker, this is not a personal explanation; this is a debate, and properly she should speak on the adjournment.

The SPEAKER —The member for Mackellar will resume her seat. I am listening closely to the member for Sydney and I would ask her to come to the point where she has been personally misrepresented.

Ms PLIBERSEK —Thank you, Mr Speaker; I am. The first way in which I was misrepresented is that in this statement I believe the Minister for Foreign Affairs has grouped me with a group of people that he suggests are interested in supporting and causing war in Lebanon and the Middle East. I find that deeply and profoundly offensive.

The SPEAKER —Order! The member will not debate this. The member has made her point, but she will not debate it.

Ms PLIBERSEK —Secondly, Mr Speaker, he has suggested that I was sniggering and indeed laughing. There is no way that anyone could imagine that I would ever in any circumstances laugh at what is going on in the Middle East today. Perhaps I had a look of disbelief on my face.

The SPEAKER —The member has made her point.

Ms PLIBERSEK —He is a very uncredible foreign affairs minister. But I was certainly not laughing at the situation in the Middle East.

The SPEAKER —The member has made her point. She will not debate it. The member will resume her seat.