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Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Page: 279

Prime Minister

Mr WYATT (Hasluck) (14:40): My question is to the Prime Minister. What precisely did the Prime Minister's staff say to Ms Kim Sattler on Australia Day that would have led her to instigate the subsequent events? If the Prime Minister expects us to believe that her staff related what the Leader of the Opposition's words were exactly, how can she explain why a riot ensued?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:41): In response to the member for Hasluck's question, as he would be aware, I dealt with these matters at the time. Following Australia Day, I obviously dealt with these matters publicly and what I said then is what I will say now, which is, a member of my staff made a very grave error. He acted alone. His conduct was unauthorised. Both he and Ms Sattler—the participants in the conversation—have been very clear that Mr Hodges relayed to Ms Sattler the words of the Leader of the Opposition from that morning, that he did not relay any other version and, of course, the rest has been reported publicly. To the member for Hasluck I say, as I said at a press conference on the Saturday after these events, Mr Hodges did make a very bad mistake. He has paid a very severe price for it. He relayed the words of the Leader of the Opposition accurately on the question of the tent embassy to Ms Sattler.