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Monday, 15 September 2003
Page: 20026

Mr LATHAM (3:49 PM) —I have a question for you, Mr Speaker. However, before I ask it, could I, in a rare moment of bipartisanship, extend congratulations to the Leader of the House on completing the Sydney Marathon yesterday, running the 42 kilometres. I note in history that the original marathon runner, Pheidippides, ran from Marathon to Athens, screamed out, `We won,' and fell down dead. I cannot for a moment imagine that any member on this side of the House could have had a similar thought about the member opposite. We congratulate him on the 42 kilometres and for making it back here to this House in one piece.

The SPEAKER —I think the sentiment expressed by the member for Werriwa would be echoed by most people. Leader of the House, well done.

Mr LATHAM —Mr Speaker, could you update the House on the controversy surrounding the 80-year-old silky oak table in the National Party caucus room? Now that the National Party has sold out its principles by supporting the full sale of Telstra, is it not appropriate to move the table to Old Parliament House as a museum piece and bring in overseas private contractors to find a replacement table? Now that Senator Boswell has said that if the table goes he goes, sitting on top of it as it is taken out of the building, will Senator Boswell and his supporters, the members for Dawson and Riverina, also become museum pieces in Old Parliament House? Finally, Mr Speaker, can you comment on the past uses of this particular table by National Party MPs, particularly the suggestion circulating in Parliament House that it bears a striking similarity to John Brown's desk?

The SPEAKER —The member for Werriwa has made a point that is now on the Hansard record. I think that is about as far as it needs to go.