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5       Senate—Unparliamentary Language—Quotations—Statement by President

The President made a statement relating to the use of inappropriate language by way of quotation and, in particular, quotations contained in an answer given by the Minister for Employment (Senator Cash) to a question without notice asked by Senator Lindgren on 24 February 2016 relating to the building and construction industry.

The President referred to the long-standing practice, dating back at least to 1908 in the Senate and observed in other parliaments, that quoting another source does not allow a senator to bypass the normal rules in relation to unparliamentary language.

The President stated that in circumstances where quotations are not in relation to a class of persons specifically protected by the standing orders, and where the language used is strictly necessary to make the point sought to be made by the use of the quotation, it is difficult for the chair to prevent a senator from quoting such language or to require its withdrawal. If senators choose to enter this territory, they do so at their own responsibility.

The President further drew attention of senators to Privilege Resolution No. 9, agreed to on 25 February 1998, relating to the responsibilities of senators in exercising the privilege of freedom of speech.




Document : The President tabled the following documents:

Senate—Unparliamentary language—Quotations—Copies of submissions to the President of the Senate from—

Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Brandis), the Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Cormann), the Leader of the Nationals in the Senate (Senator Scullion) and the Manager of Government Business in the Senate (Senator Fifield), dated 25 February 2016.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Wong), dated 23 February 2016.

Minister for Employment (Senator Cash), dated 24 February 2016.




Statements by leave : Senators Conroy and Cameron, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Wong) and the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Brandis), by leave, made statements relating to the matter.