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Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Page: 4280

Mr TUCKEY (3:46 PM) —Mr Speaker, I seek to make a personal explanation.

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

Mr TUCKEY —Grievously so, Mr Speaker.

The SPEAKER —Please proceed.

Mr TUCKEY —During question time, the PM inferred that I had offered—by my enforced silence at that moment—that I had no criticism of his education cash splash in my electorate. I refer the House to yesterday’s Proof Hansard, in which I said:

Then there are school buildings. There is the government’s—

that is, the Howard government’s—

$1.2 billion Investing in Our Schools Program, which was funded with cash and gave school principals and local parents groups the opportunity to spend up to $150,000 on buildings or equipment.

I went on to say:

Very few schools in my electorate applied for the full amount of $150,000, although some could have wisely spent more. But this budget forces them to take another $200,000. It is like feeding a pate goose: you have it forced down your throat whether you need it or not … But is it going to improve the education of the children—

The SPEAKER —Order! The member has explained where he has been misrepresented—

Mr TUCKEY —No, sir. The other comment I made related to spending that money on the training of teachers and it is no good having schools built. In other words, I have made a public comment on this and I stand by it.

The SPEAKER —Order! The member has explained where he has been misrepresented and I thank him for doing it by the processes—

Mr Tuckey interjecting

The SPEAKER —Order! I thought that there might be, but I just want to put on record—and the member should sit down and just settle down a little bit—that he has taken the opportunities that are available to him when aggrieved with things that are said, or rhetorical questions are put to him. He has shown the way to deal with it. I thank him for that.

Mr TUCKEY —I wish now to make a further personal explanation.

The SPEAKER —Does the member for O’Connor claim to have been further misrepresented?

Mr TUCKEY —I do.

The SPEAKER —Please proceed.

Mr TUCKEY —The Minister for Health and Ageing suggested that a program that cancelled waiting lists and saved the people a third of the cost of Medicare was some sort of dumb exercise. It was very smart. It was rejected by the—

The SPEAKER —Order! The member for O’Connor will resume his seat. Having been given an A for his first effort, that was nearly a fail, but he has made his point.