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Thursday, 2 April 1987
Page: 1982

Mr MACPHEE —Madam Speaker, I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

Madam SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?


Madam SPEAKER —The honourable member may proceed.

Mr MACPHEE —Madam Speaker, on 20 March, Senator Haines, for the Australian Democrats, said the following in a Press release:

The voting record of the other parties on ethnic affairs issues rarely tallies with the policies they espouse. In the Budget session last year while Democrat Senators sat in a small group on one side of the chamber, Government and Opposition Senators were nearly on each others laps as they combined to amalgamate the ABC with SBS, abolish the Institute of Multicultural Affairs, cut spending on essential `English as a second language' education . . .

She then went on to say:

It is all very well for MPs like Dr Andrew Theophanous to profess to represent the Greek Community or Mr Ian McPhee to bemoan Budget cuts in spending on multicultural programs . . . the facts are that this much repeated concern for the ethnic community was not translated into action when vital votes were taken in Federal Parliament.

Madam Speaker, as I have been named-I know you cannot-

Madam SPEAKER —Debate the issue.

Mr MACPHEE —I know you cannot protect the entire Opposition, and that I cannot debate the issue, but I just make the point that in this House I have led the charge against the amalgamation of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Special Broadcasting Service. I have been supported by my colleagues here and in the Senate. At no time did they sit with the Government on this issue. On the contrary, they defeated it at the second reading stage. It is an outrageous lie--

Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member will withdraw that.

Mr MACPHEE —I will say that it is an outrageous misrepresentation by a leader of a political party to say that we have facilitated the amalgamation. On the other two matters mentioned, it is well known that we have taken the view that those measures were a part of the Budget and that it was proper for us to criticise them but to let them pass as Budget measures.