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Thursday, 22 March 2012
Page: 4040


Dr SOUTHCOTT (Boothby) (16:27): I seek clarification from you, Madam Deputy Speaker, on why you decided that the discussion has concluded when there were still members who wished to speak on the MPI.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I apologise. I did not see anyone stand. It was to our side, and I did not see anyone stand. I apologise if I have made that wrong call.

Dr Southcott interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: It was to our side. I did not see anyone seeking the call. I moved to progress the business.

Mr Hockey: It was the call to the government.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I apologise, it was to the government side.

Dr Southcott: I understand that the member for Bradfield was keen to speak next.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: My absolute apologies. I did not see him stand.

Opposition members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for Boothby may be right. I did not see him stand. The minister had sought to make a personal explanation. As there was nobody on my side—

An opposition member: On the government side.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: On the government side. I apologise. It has been a very long week. On the government side, nobody had sought the call and so I put the question. If the opposition had chosen to put some people up on the Speaker's panel we might not be in this situation all the time.

Opposition members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am not implying anything. But there are implications—I am saying 'my side' and I should not be. All I am saying is that as is usual in a normal parliament there are various speakers from various parties and it evens out the contention of the House. That would be my conclusion.