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Monday, 3 November 2003
Page: 21750

Mr MARTIN FERGUSON (3:43 PM) —My question goes to the visit by the President of the United States and a rumour suggesting that representatives of the US government were permitted to bring firearms into Parliament House. Is there any truth to this rumour?

The SPEAKER —It is one of these extraordinary situations where, rather like the one involving the member for Cunningham, I find myself sitting here waiting for the member for Batman to resume his seat so I can respond to him. Let me indicate to the member for Batman that the arrangements for firearms in this House were entirely consistent with the arrangements that were recommended by the security advisory group and were consistent with what has been done on other occasions.

Mr MARTIN FERGUSON —Further to your answer to my question, I would like to know the details of what those arrangements were. My understanding was that, on previous visits by the US President to the Australian parliament, requests for the bringing of firearms into Parliament House were refused by this parliament.

The SPEAKER —Let me indicate to the member for Batman that whatever was done in this instance was done entirely on advice.

Mr Leo McLeay —It was not the same as the first time and you know it!

The SPEAKER —I warn the member for Watson!