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Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Page: 8447

Mr SWAN (Treasurer) (3:46 PM) —Mr Speaker, I seek the indulgence of the chair to add to an answer.

The SPEAKER —The minister may proceed.

Mr SWAN —During question time I was asked a question by the shadow Treasurer, the member for Curtin, about two speeches—one given on 4 June by the Assistant Treasurer in this House on 4 June and one given by myself in this House on 18 June. Both speeches were about the Commonwealth Securities and Investment Legislation Amendment Bill 2008—a piece of legislation which the government supports strongly and which is very important in the context of the current global economic uncertainty that we face. Of course, the second reading speech was given by the Assistant Treasurer, Mr Bowen, on my behalf.

Mr Hockey —He didn’t say it. It wasn’t on his website.

Mr SWAN —Well, you haven’t done your homework again. It was given by the Assistant Treasurer on my behalf because I was overseas. Naturally, for such an important piece of public policy, the speech was of course given by the Assistant Treasurer. But of course upon my return, regarding this legislation as importantly as I did, I participated in the summing up. I vividly remember participating in the summing up because the member for Wentworth was in the chamber and, you would be surprised to hear, we had a friendly chat across the table about this piece of legislation. In fact, we had had a number of phone calls about it. So all of this is an elaborate camouflage to hide the embarrassment of the member for Curtin. As usual, it is the cover-up that really pings them.

Mr Truss —Mr Speaker, on a point of order: the minister is seeking to add to an answer. In that context, he cannot debate the question.

The SPEAKER —I will listen carefully to the Treasurer.

Mr SWAN —This farce from the member for Curtin is part of an elaborate cover-up to cover up her embarrassment at her plagiarism. You cannot plagiarise your own speech. It is simply impossible to plagiarise yourself. It is absolutely impossible.

Mr Hockey interjecting

The SPEAKER —Order! The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. The Treasurer will bring this to a conclusion quickly.

Mr SWAN —The second reading speech was given, as it should have been, by the Assistant Treasurer on my behalf. I summed up in the House because it was a bill to which I attach great importance. The member for Curtin is simply out of touch and out of her depth.