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Monday, 21 May 2012
Page: 4753

Member for Dobell

Ms JULIE BISHOP (CurtinDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:49): My question is to the Acting Prime Minister. If the Acting Prime Minister believes in the presumption of innocence, will he explain why the member for Dobell was excluded from the Labor caucus?

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Acting Prime Minister has the call. I was weighing up whether the question was in order.

Opposition members: You have given him the call!

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The very insistent individuals on my left can stop assisting because they are actually doing themselves a great disservice by annoying me beyond belief.

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:50): The answer is very simple. The Prime Minister has dealt with this matter at length both in the parliament and out of the parliament, and so has the member for Dobell. This is just part of the continuing smear campaign which is being run by those opposite. The member for Dobell has explained his position and Prime Minister has explained her position. But those opposite want to continue to run this smear campaign. They want to take the mud bucket out.

Ms Julie Bishop: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order on relevance. The question could not have been more straightforward: why was the member for Dobell excluded from Labor's caucus?

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Acting Prime Minister will refer to the question before the chair.

Mr SWAN: Well, certainly: the shadow Treasurer also referred to this question in the media I think over the weekend when he said that he would accept the support of Mr Thomson on the floor of the parliament. That says it all!