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Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Page: 6212


Mr DUTTON (Dickson) (10:09): The first point that must be made is that this is a minister who is running and hiding. This is a minister who refuses to front this Committee, as would normally be the case, and clearly it is as a direct result of the hypocrisy of the minister overnight. It is an indication that this minister is embarrassed by having misled the Australian public. This is a minister who, whilst saying one thing publicly and leading the Australian public to believe that she was taking a certain course of action, has done something quite different in private. This is a minister who, while she was saying to the Australian public that it is bad to solicit donations from tobacco companies, was privately writing to these companies seeking those same donations.

Mr Hayes: Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order. This is about the appropriations. The member cannot go off into a rant about matters extraneous to the issues in the budget.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: This is a broad-ranging debate. However, I would point out to the member for Dickson, and I thought this was the point that was going to be made by the member for Fowler, that he ought not reflect on the minister other than by a substantive motion.

Mr DUTTON: Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. All of it is now fact and it is before the public to make their own determinations about the credibility or lack thereof of this minister. The fact that she will not front this committee to talk about issues relating to appropriations is a disgrace—

Ms King: On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker, the member is now impugning another member and I ask for him to desist.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order. He made a comment on the fact that the minister is not present, which I do not believe is impugning. I am listening very carefully.

Mr DUTTON: My question is to the Minister for Indigenous Health and other matters. It relates to that part of the portfolio where there is direct expenditure on tobacco campaigns. In reference to that particular measure undertaken by the government, has the minister sought donations from or had contact with tobacco companies since the 2004 declaration of the then Leader of the Opposition that the Labor Party would undertake no such activity?