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Wednesday, 3 October 1984
Page: 1136

Senator WALTERS(5.24) —Mr Deputy President, I seek leave to make a personal explanation as I believe I have been misrepresented.

Leave granted.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —The honourable senator may proceed, but only on the matter of misrepresentation.

Senator WALTERS —Of course. Today the Minister for Social Security, Senator Grimes, has forgotten that the Senate's proceedings are being broadcast. It is no use trying, as he has today, to slither out from-

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Senator Walters, you must confine your remarks to where you have been misrepresented.

Senator WALTERS —I am, particularly to what Senator Grimes said. It is no use trying to slither out from under from what he interjected and what I took up while I was speaking. Senator Grimes tries this so often.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Senator Walters, you must explain just where you have been misrepresented.

Senator WALTERS —What I was saying when he interjected was that women have never viewed their engagement rings as assets, as they must now be. I have never considered my engagement ring as an asset, nor have I ever considered and nor do women consider their personal jewellery that their husbands have given them as assets. They do not look upon those as part of their personal effects. Senator Grimes said: 'Lies'.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Order, Senator Walters! You are only entitled to make an explanation of misrepresentation of something said in debate. Interjections do not qualify under this heading. I ask you not to go on too long on this aspect.

Senator WALTERS —I enabled Senator Grimes to enter the debate. He said 'lies' and he was asked to withdraw. It was because he said 'lies' after I said that engagement rings are included as assets that I believe I have been misrepresented. I sat down and gave him time to say to the people of Australia that engagement rings were not included. However he claimed that it was not engagement rings but other things that he was talking about.

Senator Grimes —I did not say that at all.

Senator WALTERS —Hansard will report that he said 'lies' when I was talking about engagement rings. In addition, he accused me of saying to people who come into my office: 'Sell up your assets'. He accused me of going around Tasmania telling pensioners to sell up their assets. I have never told people or vaguely suggested to people that they sell up their assets. Indeed there is a great deal of penalty in doing so. I would never tell anyone to sell up his or her assets because I do not believe this Government will be in power long enough to enforce its assets test. That is the last thing I would do. Yet this man has misrepresented me in the most vile fashion by saying that I go around Tasmania advising pensioners to do something that would be completely in opposition to their best interests. I refute everything that that man ever says about me in this place. He always tries through intimidation to stop me from speaking.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Order, Senator Walters! I think that is a fair explanation of the misrepresentation.