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Thursday, 24 November 2011
Page: 13751


Mr STEPHEN SMITH (PerthMinister for Defence and Deputy Leader of the House) (09:41): I thank the member for his remarks and his good-natured and professional cooperation on these issues, and also for his support on the matters I have announced. Mr Deputy Speaker, I wonder whether I could ask the indulgence of the House to make a personal explanation.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. BC Scott ): Does the minister claim to have been misrepresented ?

Mr STEPHEN SMITH: I do.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please proceed.

Mr STEPHEN SMITH: Thank you. I have been very badly misrepresented in today's Financial Review in the story on page 1, entitled 'Gillard bows to US on submarines'. Firstly, the story is wrong. It is frankly a nonsense. There has been no pressure on Australia from the United States or any country about these issues. The story is a fabrication. At the end of the story it says:

A spokesman for Mr Smith declined to comment.

No approach was made to my office or to me by the newspaper or the journalist concerned about these issues in respect of which there is a very serious misrepresentation. The story is wrong. It is a nonsense.