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Monday, 19 March 2012
Page: 3272

The SPEAKER (15:45): I am confident that the standing orders have been observed on prior occasions. If I become aware of a situation where that has not occurred I will notify the honourable member privately.

Last Thursday I advised the House that I would check the Hansard record in relation to a term that appeared to have been used by the honourable the Leader of the Opposition in connection with the honourable member for Griffith. The Hansard record shows that the honourable leader had indeed used an offensive term about the honourable member. The first reference cited words that had been used outside the House by another member. The second reference was in the leader's own words. It is clear from House of Representatives Practice and from Erskine May that members may not circumvent the standing orders concerning offensive words by the device of using quotations or referring to the words of others. I would caution all honourable members about these matters and I would not expect this particular term or practice to be used again.