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Thursday, 21 November 2013
Page: 1029


The SPEAKER (13:23): The House will now consider the bills in detail. In accordance with the resolution agreed on 18 November, the bills will be taken together.

Mr Pyne: Madam Speaker, on a point of order under standing orders 91 and 92: on social media, the members for Moreton and McEwen have been reflecting on the chair, on the impartiality of the chair. I point out to you that the member for McEwen is the Second Deputy Speaker and that it is what I would regard as disorderly conduct.

Ms Macklin interjecting

Mr Pyne: So the member for Jagajaga thinks that reflecting on the member for McEwen is the same as reflecting on the Speaker, does she?

The member for McEwen has a higher level of responsibility. On social media, on Twitter, during the division and during the debate, the members for McEwen and Moreton were reflecting quite improperly on the chair and your impartiality. I ask you, as the Speaker, to consider whether this is disorderly conduct and what action you might like to take. I do not wish to take it to another level—privilege, for example. It might well be because of the inexperience of the members and their lack of knowledge of opposition. I would certainly ask the Manager of Opposition Business in the House to counsel members about reflecting on the impartiality of the chair. But I ask you to consider it rather than acting immediately—unless you choose to act immediately—to consider whether it has been a reflection on the chair and therefore is disorderly conduct and how you might like to deal with it.

The SPEAKER: I thank the Leader of the House for his point of order. I would say that we have decided in this chamber that we do allow electronic media to be used and that it is the responsibility of individual members to abide by the standing orders in the way in which they use those electronic and social media. I would be disappointed if the Second Deputy Speaker had so reflected. I would find that if others have so reflected then they might like to consider their actions themselves. But I would simply remind you that, on the use of electronic media, the same rules pertain as to speaking in the House.

Mr Pyne: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: I would point you to precedents in these matters. The member for Canning was involved in a precedent in a previous parliament involving Speaker Andrew and was asked to apologise to the Speaker in the House, under threat of more serious action being taken—

Mr Husic: For what?

Mr Pyne: Reflecting on the Speaker, which is not allowed to be done.

Mr Husic: Where?

Mr Pyne: In the chamber—

A government member: And on Twitter.

Mr Pyne: And on Twitter. You are not allowed to do it. I simply point out that precedent to you, Madam Speaker.

The SPEAKER: I thank the Leader of the House, and call the Manager of Opposition Business—on the same point of order, I take it?

Mr Burke: Madam Speaker, if I may speak to the point of order, or on indulgence—

The SPEAKER: No, we do not do points of order on indulgence. You are either speaking to the point of order or not.

Mr Burke: A point of order will do.

The SPEAKER: On that point of order as raised?

Mr Burke: Yes, on the point of order that was raised: the issue of digital media within the chamber is one that I know has been raised with you in the interviews that you did shortly after becoming Speaker, and if you do wish to provide clarity at some point on how it is to be used within the chamber then the opposition would welcome that clarity.

The SPEAKER: Well, I have actually just done that. I have said—

Mr Burke: It appeared to be different from what I recalled from the Sky News interviews.

The SPEAKER: It is still used in the chamber.

Mr Burke: Thank you, Madam Speaker.

The SPEAKER: There is no intention of not having it used in the chamber. But you do have to abide by the standing orders in its use.

Mr Perrett: Madam Speaker, on indulgence, a point of order—

The SPEAKER: No, there is no indulgence, sorry—certainly not indulgence!

Mr Perrett: Madam Speaker, on a point of order—

The SPEAKER: What point of order?

Mr Perrett: On the point raised by the Leader of the Opposition—

The SPEAKER: No, this is not a debate on the issue. We have just ruled on the point of order. The Manager of Opposition Business asked me how it was to be used and I have answered the question.

Mr Perrett: I was seeking to assist—

The SPEAKER: Well, that will be new! The member for Moreton is speaking to what?

Mr Perrett: To the reflection on the chair, and I do wish to apologise for the retweet that I put, and I did make a line-ball call. I will certainly refrain from so doing in the future, and I will make every endeavour to assist the House wherever possible, Madam Speaker.

The SPEAKER: Is that an apology, as well?

Mr Perrett: If you so require, Madam Speaker. You take it as you may.

The SPEAKER: I thank the honourable member for Moreton for his apology. We are now going to the consideration in detail.