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Tuesday, 26 May 1987
Page: 3365


Mr HAND(10.31) —It has been brought to my attention that the honourable member for O'Connor (Mr Tuckey) has just made some comments about me, which I would like to address.


Madam SPEAKER —Perhaps I should interrupt the honourable member for Melbourne here and point out that I pulled up the honourable member for O'Connor for alluding to debates in the current session. I ask the honourable member not to allude to any debate in the current session.


Mr HAND —Would it be fair to ask whether I will be able to address those remarks on a future occasion?


Madam SPEAKER —Why does not the honourable member make his remarks, and I will tell him whether he is out of order?


Mr HAND —I understand that the honourable member for O'Connor said that I was squaring off because some people painted the front of my building. Perhaps the honourable member might know who did it. It would be in keeping with the sort of company that he keeps--


Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member must not cast aspersions on any other honourable member of this House.


Mr HAND —Well, I would not wish to cast aspersions on the honourable member for O'Connor, who is someone who has been convicted of a crime--


Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member will not cast aspersions. He will withdraw that comment and will not further cast an aspersion on or impugn any honourable member of this House. I suggest that he take heed of the Chair.


Mr HAND —I would like to say that perhaps the honourable member for O'Connor--


Madam SPEAKER —Order! Will the honourable member please withdraw the comment first?


Mr HAND —I withdraw the comment. Madam Speaker, I am often confused, when I ask for your guidance and state a fact, about why I have to withdraw it.


Madam SPEAKER —It is because the honourable member speaks under the same Standing Orders as everyone else in this House, and he may not cast aspersions on another honourable member.


Mr HAND —May I just say that the honourable member for O'Connor seems to have cast a few aspersions on me? I am trying to address the fact--


Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member for O'Connor was making comments, not casting aspersions.


Mr HAND —I shall return to the comment that I was squaring off with someone. I am not squaring off with anyone. What I did tonight was what I thought was the appropriate thing to do as a member elected to this House by a wide cross-section of the community and as one who represents all of his electorate, as I assume other members do when they come into this place. Any time that the honourable member for O'Connor wants to have the knock-down, drag-out brawl that he talked about today, I will tell him that, quite frankly, I am sick and tired of his thuggery both inside and outside this Parliament--


Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member will withdraw that comment.


Mr HAND —I withdraw the word `thuggery'. However, the intimidation by and threats of that individual-a person who, if he could, would get out of this room without even opening a door because he is that low--


Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member will withdraw those comments. He is quite outside the Standing Orders.


Mr HAND —I withdraw the comments, but I take offence--


Mr Tuckey —The honourable member has not withdrawn.


Mr HAND —I withdraw, you fool; sit down.


Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member will withdraw that comment.


Mr HAND —I withdraw the word `fool'.


Madam SPEAKER —I suggest to the honourable member that he is trying the Chair's patience.


Mr HAND —I am trying to get back to the point, but I am being somewhat provoked again, as is normal, by the honourable member for O'Connor's intimidatory action--


Madam SPEAKER —Order! If the honourable member was not so provoking, he might not be provoked.


Mr HAND —The point is that I came into this place to represent my electorate. I raise points that are of concern to people living in my electorate, which is something that I undertook to do. I also asked the Minister whether, in the time between the passing of legislation in this place and the time of its implementation, some of the problems could be addressed. I have no doubt that some of the concerns felt by people, some of the hardships that may appear to occur as a result of the legislation, will be rectified. There is nothing hypocritical about that. I was elected by the Australian Labor Party and I would never rat on the Labor Party and vote against it. I will stick with the Labor Party because it is the only salvation for the people of Australia. The people in our electorates know that, and that is why the Party will be re-elected in the coming months. The Opposition's thuggery, brawling and ratbaggery are not going to put me off doing my job--


Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member will resume his seat.


Mr Donald Cameron —The honourable member said `thuggery'' again.


Madam SPEAKER —Yes, he did. I ask the honourable member to withdraw it for the record.


Mr HAND —I withdraw it, Madam Speaker, but I seek your guidance on how I can answer the criticisms of people--


Madam SPEAKER —Order! Sit down.