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Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Page: 1108


Mr JOYCE (New EnglandMinister for Agriculture) (15:12): Madam Speaker, I wish to make a personal statement.

The SPEAKER: Does the minister claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr JOYCE: I do, most grievously.

The SPEAKER: Then indulgence is granted.

Mr JOYCE: Yesterday the member for Hunter put out a press release saying:

Barnaby Joyce changed the record of an answer he provided on 20 October 2014 on the implementation of his drought package.

This is incorrect, and I ask the member for Hunter to retract it. I have stated quite clearly I had no knowledge of the change and, once it did become known to me, I asked for it to be changed back. He is also looking for a smoking gun, apparently. He is digging around, so he has asked the department for an email between a Mr Craig Croker and a Mr Andrew Henderson. He has asked for it to be tabled, as a smoking gun. I table it. Why this is unusual is that—

Mr Husic: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

The SPEAKER: The Minister for Agriculture is not entitled to debate the matter.

Mr JOYCE: merely yesterday—

The SPEAKER: The minister will resume his seat. A point of personal explanation is granted on indulgence so that you can show where the record has need of being corrected, not to debate the question. If he has a second matter he wishes to raise, he must seek indulgence again.

Mr JOYCE: I do. I think further explanation is required on this issue. Madam Speaker, clearly—

The SPEAKER: No. I am sorry, the Minister for Agriculture may not debate this point. There are other areas where you may do these things.

Mr JOYCE: I ask the member for Hunter now to retract his statement.

The SPEAKER: The point of a personal explanation is to explain where you believe the record needs correcting. You have done that.

Mr Husic: That was a great session of red faces!

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: There are those who are laughing about dealing with this particular area of standing orders, and many do not do it terribly well themselves. I would not be casting aspersions.