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Thursday, 19 June 2003
Page: 17062

Mr LATHAM (3:34 PM) —Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

The SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr LATHAM —Grievously so.

The SPEAKER —Please proceed.

Mr LATHAM —A report in today's Canberra Times reads as follows:

A spokeswoman for Mr Abbott said government and opposition backbenchers were unable to attend the parade because Mr Latham had refused to allow pairing of absent MPs or rule out the calling of divisions.

In fact, my offer to the government was that all their members could attend the parade. There would be no divisions in the House of Representatives providing we could have the conventional democratic right of a question time—that interesting proposition of accountable House of Representatives—

Mrs Crosio —At least their backbench got an invitation.

The SPEAKER —I now warn the member for Prospect and the member for Lindsay. What facility has there ever been for shouting across the chamber?