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Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Page: 2436

Senator FAULKNER (New South Wales) (16:31): I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

Leave granted.

Senator FAULKNER: I want to refer to former Senator Bob Carr's weighty tome, Diary of a Foreign Minister. On page 364 of this book—

Senator Conroy: You got that far?

Senator FAULKNER: which coincidentally, Senator Conroy would be interested to know, refers to events of Tuesday, 14 May 2013, which was budget day last year—my name is mentioned. Bob Carr writes about what he says must be the last caucus before the election. He writes:

Lower House MPs must be looking around the room, thinking this place will be cleaned out, half of 'the colleagues' gone from the next parliament, they themselves. I haven't even gotten to learn their names.'

A little later he said, 'John Faulkner says the meeting is like a mausoleum but not to quote him, because he plans to use it in his book.'

Mr Deputy President, let me make these points. First, I do acknowledge that I said to Bob Carr in a private conversation that attending the caucus meeting was like visiting a mausoleum. Second, I didn't ask Bob not to quote me; I had no thought that he ever would and no idea he was writing a book. Third, I certainly did not suggest I would use the line about caucus being like a mausoleum in my own book. I have never had any plans—not then, not now—to bore people senseless by writing such a book.

I make this personal explanation because this brief passage about me from Bob's book was extracted and highlighted in a number of newspapers at the time of the book's release. And, Mr Deputy President, I really don't want anyone to think that I am such a wally and so pompous and self-important that I would ever say such a thing to anyone at all—let alone to someone who was likely to publish it.