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Tuesday, 27 May 2003
Page: 15056

Mrs CROSIO (4:37 PM) —My question is to you, Mr Speaker. Today the opposition, including the Independent member, had 10 questions. Seven of those questions in this House mentioned an individual's name. My question mentioned the same individual's name as that mentioned by the member for Melbourne and the member for Fraser, yet you asked me to rethink my question. How can you approve of seven questions which mentioned the same name as my question, yet my question was not approved in that respect?

The SPEAKER —I thank the Chief Opposition Whip for her question because it is valid. In truth I was tempted on every one of those occasions to interrupt the opposition member asking the question. I chose not to interrupt in order to not frustrate members of the House, but the Chief Opposition Whip makes a very valid point. The only reason I did not interrupt the other seven questions was that on at least two or three of those occasions the name referred to was the chief executive of Telstra. It seemed to me that he was generally well known and that the use of his name was not in any way going to impute motives to him such as would happen with unknown people who may be named as constituents of a member asking a question, which was the original reason for the standing order. I thank the Chief Opposition Whip because my intention is to more rigorously pursue that and I was simply seeking to not frustrate those who would ask those questions. If I have caused her any irritation, I apologise. I will try to apply the order more rigorously in future.