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Monday, 8 February 2010
Page: 771


Mr DANBY (6:49 PM) —Belinda Neal is an intelligent, capable woman who actively represents her electorate and has many friends in this House. I appeal to the fair members of the press gallery not to join in what appears to be a shark attack on Belinda Neal. This attack in my view is being led by the Telegraph newspaper with its misleading headline by its columnist Glenn Milne yesterday, ‘Up yours Kevin …’ These words were never uttered by Ms Neal and are very far from her attitudes and public performance. They are words designed to negatively affect innocent preselectors in a preselection that is taking place this week.

I remind this House and the people of Australia that this report comes from a person involved in a violent, drunken attack on another journalist on national television. No-one is denying people the ability to show forgiveness, but I just ask that forgiveness and attitudes towards people be shown in a consistent and non-hypocritical way. It is a bit rich—in the old Australian vernacular—to see this kind of attack on Belinda Neal, who is performing her duties in her seat and in parliament, coming from a person with that kind of background. It is understandable that Mr Cassidy and other people have put Glenn Milne back on the Insiders and are treating him as if this thing did not happen; I just wish the same kind of standards were applied to members of parliament, including Belinda Neal.