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Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Page: 11573


Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (14:03): I move:

That so much of standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the Leader of the Opposition from moving the following motion forthwith—That, as provided for by section 35 of the Constitution, the Speaker be removed from office immediately.

This is obviously a rare and unusual step that I take the start of question time today. But it is a necessary step. It is necessary that this parliament now suspend standing and sessional orders and consider the removal of the Speaker from the high office that he currently holds.

Mr Danby interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): The member for Melbourne Ports is warned!

Mr ABBOTT: It is clear that this Speaker is no longer a fit and proper person to uphold the dignity of the parliament. It is clear that he is no longer a fit and proper person to uphold the standing orders of this House. This Speaker is disqualified from high office not by the fact of the legal action currently on foot against him but by the undenied, uncontradicted facts that have emerged in the course of this case.

First, there are the truly gross references to female genitalia. I regret to speak in this way to this House, but it is necessary to prosecute this matter.

Mr Dreyfus interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for Isaacs is warned!

Mr ABBOTT: This is the vile and anatomically specific language to which this Speaker appears to be addicted. Finally—and no less importantly—there is the clear bias on the face of the record shown by the Speaker against a member of this chamber whom he had expelled that day.

Standing orders must be suspended because this Speaker has failed the character test. Standing orders must also be suspended because, I regret to say, not only has the Speaker failed the character test but also the Prime Minister has failed the judgement test. That is why standing orders should be suspended. This prime minister failed the judgement test when it came to the member for Dobell. Now she has failed the judgement test when it comes to the Speaker of this parliament. For months and years this Prime Minister ran a protection racket for the member for Dobell. Please let us not have the same protection racket run for the benefit of the current Speaker of this parliament.

Let us be clear exactly what happened in this place last November. Last November—and this is why standing orders must be suspended—the Prime Minister did a squalid deal to boost her numbers in this parliament. She knew that the government was about to lose the support of the member for Denison.

Mr Albanese: We will take the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition, and there will be four speakers a side with 10 minutes each.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): Is the motion seconded?