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Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Page: 8

Mr PERRETT (Moreton) (11:37): I second the nomination. The member for Wills commented about the member for McEwen and the member for Mackellar. This is my third parliament and I have not seen the member for Mackellar in the chair. The member for Wills said that, unfortunately, because of the direction of the then Leader of the Opposition no member of the opposition sat on the Speaker's panel apart from the member for Maranoa, who is a good and honourable man, who sat in the position as Deputy Speaker and did his job admirably. So I did not see the member for Mackellar in the chair in order for me to know how fair she could be. Obviously, a Speaker must be in love with democracy. They cannot use their role as a mechanism to wield power and promote or protect privilege. That is not what this chamber is for. The 150 people elected to this chamber have a solemn duty to their electorates, and that is about democracy. I have never seen the member for Mackellar sitting in the chair and being fair and impartial.

I think the Prime Minister said that the Speaker's role should restore dignity. I take offence at that comment because the 43rd Parliament had dignity.

Government members interjecting

Mr PERRETT: Just because you did not act in a dignified way does not mean that the parliament did not have dignity. When we unpack democracy we could look at what the nominated members have done. Let us have a look at whether the member for Mackellar followed that great Liberal tradition of looking at the policy and crossing the floor, and we will see whether she is prepared to be bipartisan. I have been in only two parliaments and I have seen only two MPs in this chamber cross the floor on a topic. I think the member for McMillan did it over asylum seekers, and he was rewarded by being totally overlooked. We had the member for Wentworth cross the floor over the ETS, and he was rewarded by being placed on the cover of the Real Solutions brochure. In the other place I saw Senator Sue Boyce cross the floor the day after the member for Warringah was made leader, and she was rewarded by being overlooked and then by being booted out of parliament. I know the member for New England has crossed the floor, and I look forward to seeing how he goes when it comes to voting on GrainCorp. I am sure he will talk tough and walk soft.

Let us look at how the member for Mackellar and the member for McEwen have treated democracy. The best way to analyse it is by looking at how they have voted on legislation that brings votes to the Australian people. Let us look at the 2010 election review, when we tried to get 1.5 million people back onto the electoral roll, and the dissenting report from the member for Mackellar.

I am sorry to say, Member for McEwen, that maybe we should support the member for Mackellar for the sake of the sisterhood rather than you. You have a Y chromosome and she does not. There is a saying that the head slave whips the hardest. Let us have a look at how the member for Mackellar has treated the sisterhood when given the opportunity. When she stood out the front of this place in front of a poster saying, 'Ditch the witch,' and a poster saying, 'Juliar … Bob Brown's bitch,' what did she do? Did she apologise for that? No, she never apologised for that. She actually said that the people who had those signs were good, decent Australians.

Honourable members interjecting

Mr PERRETT: These are the facts. We are about to make a decision about democracy in this place. I think very seriously about these decisions. Obviously, it is an important role and it is good to have a bit of humour. In the last six years I have seen the member for Mackellar make two good jokes. She made a joke about the size of Julia Gillard's nose. Then she made a joke about the clothes that Julia Gillard wore. The jokes were quite funny, but the humour of someone in the chair needs to have a touch of self-deprecation. I think the member for Mackellar has deprecation down pat. The reality is that we should choose the member for McEwen for the sake of democracy in this chamber.

The Clerk : Does the member for McEwen accept the nomination?

Mr Mitchell: I do.

The Clerk : Is there any further proposal? The time for proposals has expired. In accordance with standing order 11, the bells will be rung and a ballot taken.

The bells having been rung and a ballot having been taken—

The Clerk: The result of the ballot is: Mrs BK Bishop, 93 votes; Mr Mitchell, 56 votes. Mrs BK Bishop is declared elected.

The SPEAKER: I wish to express my grateful thanks for the high honour that has been bestowed on me by the House.