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Thursday, 6 March 2014
Page: 1917


Mr MORRISON (CookMinister for Immigration and Border Protection) (15:15): I wish to make a personal explanation.

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

Mr MORRISON: Yes.

The SPEAKER: The minister has the call.

Mr MORRISON: Thank you. In the Courier Mail on 6 March, in an article by James McCulloch, it says, 'After the Manus Island riots, immigration minister, Scott Morrison, sent a RAAF VIP jet'—presumably a luxury 737—to collect Rimbink Pato, the foreign minister, from Port Moresby to meet with him and foreign minister, Julie Bishop'—presumably in Australia.

Madam Speaker, I can confirm that that is completely false. Last Saturday I flew, not on the BBJ but on the Challenger, from Darwin to Port Moresby to hold meetings with both the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration and the Attorney-General of Papua New Guinea. That meeting was held in Port Moresby, and I am grateful to the Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister, Minister Pato, because he had adjusted his meeting schedule to enable me to do that.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: You have made your point.

Mr MORRISON: I am getting to the point, Madam Speaker.

The SPEAKER: Look, the member will resume his seat.

Honourable members interjecting

Mr MORRISON: I don't know how this is terribly controversial.

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: There will be silence! The minister will resume his seat. I will say to both sides of parliament: this question of personal explanations is getting close to being misused. It is not an opportunity to debate the issue; it is to simply and succinctly state where you believe you were misrepresented, and to state clearly and succinctly why it is not so. The minister has the call and will move to conclude his statement.

Mr MORRISON: I will seek to do so, Madam Speaker. Mr Pato accompanied me back from Port Moresby to Sydney because he had adjusted his schedule to have the meetings with me in Port Moresby, and I was pleased to provide that support to Mr Pato because it enabled us to further discuss the matters we had discussed that morning.