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Wednesday, 24 June 1998
Page: 3984

Senator VANSTONE (Minister for Justice) (5:32 PM) —I seek leave to speak briefly in response to Senator Faulkner.

The PRESIDENT —Is leave granted?

Opposition senators interjecting

Senator VANSTONE —Whether you grant leave or not, I do not mind. It is a question of responding to his request for leave. If you do not want to give me leave, that is fine.

Opposition senators interjecting

The PRESIDENT —Order! Nobody has sought leave for any extension of time for Senator Crossin to speak.

Senator Schacht —Madam President, I raise a point of order. Senator Vanstone sought leave to make some remarks in reply to what Senator Faulkner said.

Senator VANSTONE —And you denied it.

Senator Schacht —Nobody on this side denied leave. We may have made some comments about your performance, but we did not deny leave for you to make some further remarks.

The PRESIDENT —Nobody denied leave.

Leave granted.

Senator VANSTONE —A slight change of heart obviously. Just briefly, in response to Senator Faulkner, I think he has understood the nature of the remarks. I made it perfectly clear at the commencement of what I was saying that I think convention has been broken by Senator Crossin. But I made it clear that it was quite possible that convention was broken because she simply was not informed about it. That was the reason that goodwill was extended on this side to listen to her speech in silence, because I do not blame Senator Crossin. I think she probably was not informed. All I simply did was ask that the matter be considered because a convention cannot stand if it is not understood on both sides. If someone wants to ask leave for Senator Crossin to continue her speech, as ill-informed as she appears to be as to the convention, we are happy to grant leave for her to finish.