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Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Page: 945

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (15:17): I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

The SPEAKER: Does the Leader of the Opposition claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr SHORTEN: Yes, I do.

The SPEAKER: You may proceed.

Mr SHORTEN: In question time today the Leader of the House made allegations about me that I do not put workers first. I always have. More seriously, he cast aspersions on people who are not in this place and their relationship with me. Richard Pratt was a close family friend of mine. The Pratt family were best friends of my former wife's family—best friends. My friend Richard Pratt passed away eight years ago.

For the Leader of the House to impugn the reputation of someone who is not alive to defend himself is shameful. Government members can throw all the insults they want at me. If that is all they have left—if that is the best they have—go for it. But to trample on a dead man's memory for political purposes is beneath contempt. I hope that the Leader of the House reflects on his conduct and apologises for it.