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Monday, 9 December 2013
Page: 1944

Mrs MARKUS (Macquarie) (15:15): Madam Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

The SPEAKER: Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mrs MARKUS: Most grievously.

The SPEAKER: Please proceed.

Mrs MARKUS: On 5 December, the member for Sydney claimed in a speech, 'She—' referring to me and not even knowing the name of my seat—'is not in the Blue Mountains very much, is she?' This speech was then posted on the member's Facebook page. What a gross inaccuracy. During the recent bushfires I have spent every waking hour in my community doing whatever I possibly could—I failed to see the member for Sydney once.

Mr Burke: On a point of order, Madam Speaker: I do not see how the final phrase of that personal explanation can be at all consistent with the ruling you gave me a couple of minutes ago.

The SPEAKER: What was the phrase to which you objected?

Mr Burke: Madam Speaker, it is a great game to dare me to repeat something I think is inappropriate, but that will not be done.

The SPEAKER: The point I made earlier in the day to you, as Manager of Opposition Business, and to the deputy leader, who is acting leader, was that her comment was not a proper explanation of where she had been misrepresented. To the contrary, what the member for Macquarie was pointing out was: where a statement had been made, where it had been placed and why it was wrong. Clearly, that is the point of having an opportunity for a personal explanation where you claim to have been misrepresented. The member for Sydney, the Acting Leader of the Opposition, should have followed the same form in her explanation as the member for Grayndler, which is always done, absolutely properly, by that member.

Mr Burke: The final phrase used by the member had nothing to do with her claim of where she had been personally misrepresented—nothing whatsoever.

The SPEAKER: I will have to take your word for that, because I did not hear anything that was not relevant, and you are not prepared to tell me what it was, so I cannot make any further comment.