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Hawker moves for ban on Brown and Nettle.

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David Hawker MP Federal Member for Wannon Electorate Office: 190 Gray Street, Hamilton, Vic., 3300 Ph: (03) 5572 1100 or Local Call 1300 131 692 Fax: (03) 55 72 1141 Email: Web:

Media Release DavidHawkerMP Federal Member for Wannon

3 November 2003


A furious Member for Wannon - David Hawker - has today called for Senators Bob Brown and Kerri Nettle to be banned from the Federal Parliament’s House of Representatives.

Tabling a Notice of Motion supported by Victorian Member for Casey, Tony Smith, Mr. Hawker, said the behaviour by both Senators during the recent speech by United States President, George Bush, was an embarrassment and totally unwarranted.

He said they should not be welcome back in the House of Representative gallery unless the can assure the Speaker they will respect his authority and behave in a courteous manner.

“This nation’s Prime Ministers are treated with the utmost respect while guests in other countries and I don’t think it is too much to ask for similar respect for visiting leaders,” Mr. Hawker said.

“Far from exercising their right to free speech, the stunt pulled by both Senators, was nothing more than simple rudeness and bad manners.

“I am loath to label it childish, because any parent would expect better behaviour from their children.

“No doubt there were people in the House of Representatives who did not see eye to eye with President Bush.

“However, they accepted that he was a guest of the nation and had the good manners to allow him to speak uninterrupted.

“If Senators Brown and Nettle were not prepared to respect the individual they should at least have respected the office of the President of the United States of America and one of our closest allies.”

Mr. Hawker said the Senators were obviously unable to draw the line between grandstanding and common courtesy.


He said he did not believe this uncertainty should again be allowed to disrupt events of both national and international significance.

M. Hawker added that as both are elected to the Senate, this motion in no way restricts their right to speak in the Senate or elsewhere as often as they wish.


The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia



MR. HAWKER: I give notice that, at the next sitting, l will move -

That the House,

(1) notes the courteous and dignified manner in which the President of the United States of America, the Honourable George W Bush, conducted himself during the joint meeting of the House and the Senate on 23 October;

(2) acknowledges the courteous and respectful way in which the overwhelming majority of Members and Senators participated in the proceedings;

(3) recognises the respect accorded to all Australian Prime Ministers when they visit other countries, including the United States of America;

(4) notes that despite the many opportunities Senators Brown and Nettle have to present their views in the Senate and elsewhere, they chose to interrupt the President’s speech repeatedly while as the Parliament’s guest he addressed Members and Senators in response to formal invitations of each House;

(5) deplores the discourteous and offensive behaviour Senators Brown and Nettle displayed towards a guest of the Parliament and is of the view that they should not be welcome in the gallery of the House at any time unless they give the Speaker an assurance that they will behave courteously and with respect for the Speaker’s authority.



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