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Monday, 14 October 1991
Page: 1854

Dr THEOPHANOUS —-Mr Deputy Speaker, I claim to have been misrepresented in the comments made by the honourable member for Dundas (Mr Ruddock) and I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Dubois) —-Please proceed.

Dr THEOPHANOUS —-I do not want to take up the time of the House--

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —-Just explain how you were misrepresented and not engage in debate, then.

Dr THEOPHANOUS —-I was misrepresented on three occasions. On the first occasion the honourable member for Dundas stated that I had misrepresented him in relation to his position on multiculturalism. That is not true. I stated quite clearly that I was referring to the current and previous Leaders of the Opposition in relation to immigration and multicultural policy, not to the position of the honourable member for Dundas.

Secondly, the honourable member claimed that I had said that the Opposition had been involved in some skulduggery with respect to the SBS rescheduling exercise. I specifically did not refer to the Opposition as such but to the Liberal Party and Liberal Party members. I did not refer to the communications spokesman or to him. I would prefer to discuss the third point in which the honourable member misrepresented me privately with him.

I conclude by saying that I did not intend this to become a political debate. It was begun by the statements of the shadow Minister for communications, the honourable member for Bass (Mr Smith), and his very ungenerous comments with respect to the role of the Labor Party and the role of the SBS.