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Monday, 13 February 2012
Page: 853

Prime Minister

Mr PYNE (SturtManager of Opposition Business) (14:51): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to this statement that she made: 'At no point did Mr Hodges say to Ms Sattler that Mr Abbott had suggested that the tent embassy be torn down or removed in any way,' and also to this statement of Ms Sattler yesterday and repeated again this morning: 'Mr Hodges told me before the riot "Tony Abbott made a comment that the tent embassy should not exist anymore. It should be moved on." ' How does the Prime Minister explain the contradiction between her statement and Ms Sattler's?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:51): In answer to the member's question, he would be aware that, in this House, I have answered these questions before. I have referred to Ms Sattler's statements before. Indeed, I read two of her statements onto the public record. I would say to the opposition generally that of course we know what this is about. They have nothing to say about jobs—

Mr Pyne: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order going to relevance. In three direct questions containing no argument the Prime Minister has been asked specific questions about her statements and I would ask you to direct her to be directly relevant to the question she was asked.

The SPEAKER: I invite the Prime Minister to be directly relevant to the question.

Ms GILLARD: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I was directly relevant to the question when I referred the member who asked the question to questions asked of me in this place last week, where I referred to statements by Kim Sattler and read them on to the Hansard. That is my answer.

As for the rest, this is a cheap attempt to distract from the fact that those opposite have no economic plan for jobs. They are in a complete muddle about a surplus—

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will return to the question or resume her seat.

Ms GILLARD: they cannot defend their plans to take money off working people and small businesses and give it to big mining companies, and their carbon pricing plan is an expensive shambles. That is why this is—

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will resume her seat!

Mr PYNE (SturtManager of Opposition Business) (14:53): Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. My question is to the Prime Minister. I ask her how she expects the Australian people to have any confidence in a Prime Minister who refuses to answer questions about serious matters in this place?

Mr Albanese: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. That was quite clearly not a supplementary question. That was just rhetoric.

The SPEAKER: The supplementary question is ruled out of order.

Mr Pyne: On your ruling, Mr Speaker—

The SPEAKER: I will not revisit my ruling. I have ruled that proposed supplementary question out of order. Supplementary questions are asked at my discretion—

Mr Pyne: She refuses to answer the question.

The SPEAKER: The member will resume his seat.