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Tuesday, 19 June 2007
Page: 14

Mr WINDSOR (2:58 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. Does the Prime Minister agree with statements made by Liberal Senator Judith Adams when she said, ‘People in rural areas cannot expect proper telecommunications services,’ and: ‘As far as I am concerned, it is a little bit like medical services. You can’t expect to have proper services out in the bush. It’s just not like that’? Prime Minister, why should country people accept second-class services? Why can’t people in rural areas expect proper telecommunications services in line with their city cousins?

The SPEAKER —The Prime Minister is not required to comment on something that has been said by another member of the same party. The Prime Minister may choose to answer that part of the question. The rest of the question is in order.

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —I choose to answer the question by saying that the services in the bush will not be second rate. I will quote the part of her statement that you did not quote. She went on to say that it will not be second rate.

Mr Albanese —I rise on a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek clarification on your ruling, which was that part of the honourable member for New England’s question was out of order. On what basis and under what standing order did you rule that out?

The SPEAKER —The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. If he wishes to ask questions of the Speaker, there is an appropriate time.