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Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Page: 27

Mr PERRETT (MoretonGovernment Whip) (17:06): Madam Speaker, I too add my congratulations to you on achieving the position of Speaker. I wish you well in this role and I am sure that you will maintain the dignity and respect of the chair vacated by the member for Chisholm—not reinstate but maintain the dignity of that chair—and I am sure that you will do noble deeds with wisdom, good humour and tolerance. And, perhaps, in the light of earlier comments, your memory on occasion might be a little bit patchy, hopefully!

I second the motion put forward by the member for Wills that the member for McEwen be elected Deputy Speaker. But I do respectfully disagree with the member for Wills on one thing. I know the member for Maranoa's seat very well. I grew up in St George; it is my home town. In fact, I went out to St George after the election and formed a new branch of the Australian Labor Party there, and they were jubilant because they had actually—

The SPEAKER: I think it would be a good idea to return to the motion.

Mr PERRETT: knocked two per cent off the member for Maranoa's margin. That is the reason I want to put forward the member for McEwen for Deputy Speaker—because the member for McEwen represents a marginal seat, and a marginal seat brings a certain perspective to the parliament. With all respect to you, Madam Speaker, and to the member for Maranoa, it does bring a different relationship. I have been often been told by the member for Sturt—he assured me at each election—that I would not be here after the next election. He assured me. He even said it on the record—

The SPEAKER: The member will return to the subject matter of the motion.

Mr PERRETT: I put forward the idea that the member for McEwen can maintain the dignity and respect of the chair. It would also let the member for Maranoa concentrate on his electorate—defending that margin—where the Labor Party has taken a bit of skin off him.

The member for McEwen would obviously provide a lot of experience, having sat on the Speaker's panel previously. His becoming Deputy Speaker would be in keeping with the document signed by the member for Sturt saying that the Deputy Speaker should actually be a member of the opposition—a piece of paper by the member for Sturt, in writing, said that the Deputy Speaker should be from the opposition. In that context, obviously the Deputy Speaker should be the member for McEwen. We should honour that piece of writing put forward by the member for Sturt. I would be happy to table that document signed by the member for Sturt. It is in writing. It would be a great gesture from the Prime Minister and from you, Madam Speaker, to indicate a new spirit of bipartisanship in this 44th Parliament. I do not in any way mean to detract from the qualities of the member for Maranoa; he is a gentleman, someone that I trust. I was at the theatre with him last weekend, in fact. Sorry to say that, Member for Maranoa! I would ask you and all of your colleagues to support the nomination of the member for McEwen because he would bring great vitality to the role. He has, occasionally, been thrown out of the parliament, but only two times in the 43rd Parliament. As you well know, Madam Speaker, being thrown out two times in the 43rd Parliament, in a robust parliament, is not a stain on his character at all. So I would ask members to consider the member for McEwen as Deputy Speaker rather than the member for Maranoa.

The SPEAKER: I am sure the member for McEwen is grateful for your intervention. The time for nominations has expired. In accordance with standing order 11, the bells will be rung and a ballot will be taken.

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

The SPEAKER: The result of the ballot for the election of Deputy Speaker and Second Deputy Speaker is that Mr Scott, with 91 votes, will serve as Deputy Speaker and Mr Mitchell, with 56 votes, will serve as Second Deputy Speaker.