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Friday, 3 April 1998
Page: 1956

Senator Calvert —On a point of order, Madam President: I think it is an opportune time to remind the Senate that Senator Brown failed to declare an interest in this matter.

Bill read a second time.

Senator Brown —Madam President, on that point of order, I claim to have been misrepresented. But Senator Calvert does raise a very real point in that any member of the Senate who did not declare an interest in that vote would be in breach of a standing order and in contempt of the Senate. I have not breached that standing order because I do not have an interest which would be enhanced by that vote—or certainly by me voting against it. But Senator Calvert has raised a very important point. I will ensure, on the very next vote, that I raise the matter before the vote takes place so that all members can be warned about it.

The PRESIDENT —Order! There is no point of order.

Senator Alston —On the point of order: this is an abuse of the process. If Senator Brown was seeking to clarify his own position, what Senator Calvert was raising was Senator Brown's involvement in two companies, which, it is said, constitutes a conflict of interest. If he is going to take the opportunity to stand up, instead of wasting time he should be saying whether or not he is involved in those companies now or whether he has resigned.