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Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Page: 6005


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongAssistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation) (19:44): I am a little disappointed by that ad hominem attack by the member for Casey. I thought he was better than that. Clearly, I am to be disappointed. In terms of the general discussion first of all, I cannot allow the persiflage of the opposition to slip by unremarked upon. The opposition complain that government ministers ask questions. This is hardly a surprise. If the opposition are surprised by it then they must be more lazy than I realised they were. I waited for questions. In terms of the CPI forecasts, in 2011-12 inflation is 2¾ per cent and unemployment is 4¾ per cent.

Mr Tony Smith: And 2012-13?

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms S Bird ): The member for Dobell.

Mr Shorten interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am sorry; can the Assistant Treasurer hold. The Assistant Treasurer will hold for a moment.

Mr Tony Smith: No, I asked you about both. You weren't listening. The Hansard record will show—

Mr Shorten interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, the Assistant Treasurer does not have the call. The call was given to the member for Dobell.

Mr Tony Smith: I rise on a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I asked the Assistant Treasurer questions relating to two years, 2011-12 and 2012-13. He just said that he was only asked about one year and he sought to answer the question—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order. The minister answers the question as he sees fit.

Mr Tony Smith: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a further point of order: given that the minister has not answered questions tonight and he is now starting to answer them, I would ask you, on indulgence, whether the minister could be given the chance—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I point out to the member for Casey that that is not a point of order. I have given the member for Dobell the call.