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Wednesday, 29 June 1994
Page: 2310

Senator IAN MACDONALD —by leave—Under standing order 191 I would like to explain a material part of my speech which has been misunderstood. I do not want to introduce any new matter. As is the wont of the Australian Democrats, Senator Coulter quite deliberately misrepresented what I had said and attributed improper motives to me, which I absolutely and utterly reject, and which you, Mr Deputy President, directed him to withdraw. It is a shame that the party set up by Mr Chipp with all those very high motives has descended into this sort of thing from this senator.

  The part of my speech which Senator Coulter chose to misunderstand related to the fact that the whole thing is a factional matter within the Queensland Labor Party. We only have to look at the people who spoke in the debate. We had Senator Faulkner, obviously from the Left; the question was asked by Senator Reynolds, obviously from the Left; supported by Senator Coulter from the Left—

Senator Coulter —I rise to a point of order. Mr Deputy President, you have already ruled on attributing motivation, and here we have Senator Macdonald going back over ground on which you have already ruled. He is attributing motivation to the minister who is not present. It seems to me that you should ask Senator Macdonald to desist from that course.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —What I ruled on was improper motive, not motive. I have listened to Senator Macdonald very carefully—as I always listen to all senators—and he has not breached the standing orders.

Senator IAN MACDONALD —I am not speaking on the point of order, but just continuing with my remarks. I was giving Senator Faulkner the opportunity to refute this. We have only to look at who spoke on this matter. The question was asked by someone from the Left, to a minister from the Left, supported by Senator Coulter who is obviously part of the Labor Party from the very, very Left, then Senator Bryant Burns from the Left, and Senator Chamarette obviously from the very, very Left. We can see a pattern emerging.

  The point I was making was that the Queensland government is obviously a government of Labor Unity—the Right faction in Queensland—and we can see from what has happened today that the Left is determined to attack that faction. I wanted to make that clear so that Senator Coulter can be under no misapprehension as to the nature of my speech.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Senator Coulter, you raised a point of order and I listened to what Senator Macdonald said on both occasions. He made a separate assertion on this occasion. Political motives are not always dishonourable. I think the point you were making this time was slightly different from that which you were making last time. I must say that Senator Macdonald's use of standing orders 191 was certainly ingenious.