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Thursday, 18 August 2011
Page: 8607

Parliamentary Language

Ms O'DWYER (Higgins) (15:18): My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, yesterday in the House your Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, called the shadow minister for innovation, industry and science, Mrs Sophie Mirabella, a name that is only ever directed at women and should never be spoken in this House. Will you abide by the standard that you set earlier in the year and ask him to apologise to Mrs Mirabella?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (15:18): I understand that the Parliament Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency has indicated to the parliament that he did not use the word that the member is referring to, but he did acknowledge that he used unparliamentary language and he withdrew it, which is appropriate.

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! The House will come to order—

Mrs Mirabella interjecting

Mr Champion interjecting

The SPEAKER: That includes the members for Indi and Wakefield. The House should tread carefully when there are other avenues that could be used if they wish to resolve this matter within the chamber. Carrying on a debate by interjection at question time is not the way which is appropriate. I think if you want to be actually true to the principles that are being exposed by the questioner and by the response then the other ways in which we deal with these could have been used by now.