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Thursday, 25 August 2011
Page: 5536

Senator LUDWIG (QueenslandMinister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery) (12:34): Mr President, I think I am going to breach my own rule here.

The PRESIDENT: Are you seeking leave?

Senator LUDWIG: I am seeking leave, to make a very short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator LUDWIG: Thank you. The government does understand the concerns that this motion raises. The government will not be supporting the motion. The parlia­ment, of course, is no stranger to intolerant expressions of opinion about matters of state. Some are expressed during protests in parts of the country, some are expressed out the front of the chamber, and sometimes they are expressed in the chamber, unfortunately. We do not, as a rule, support demands for an apology from those who make wrongheaded claims when engaging in public protest, whether they be in other parts of the country or in the proximity of parliament.

Secondly, in relation to the advice about arrangements for access to the parliamentary precinct, there are other ways that information can be sought. For those reasons, the government will not be supporting the motion.

Question put:

That the motion (Senator Bob Brown's) be agreed to.

The Senate divided. [12:36]

(The President—Senator the Hon. JJ Hogg)

Question negatived.