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Thursday, 16 May 2002
Page: 2381

Mrs CROSIO (4:20 PM) —Mr Speaker, I too seek your indulgence as the question is directed to you. Prior to the divisions that have just occurred in the House, the member for Batman had raised at the end of question time—and you had asked him to withdraw— a concern regarding the Deputy Prime Minister. Following that, the Leader of the House rose in this House, did not get the call and continued to talk while his microphone was not switched on. No-one could hear what he said. You did take action after you heard his statement. I would like to know what is going to be reported in Hansard; Hansard could not hear what he said. There was no-one in this House other than yourself, Mr Speaker, who would have heard the words uttered by the Leader of the House during the debate that went on between him, the member for Batman and you over the action that was taken over the untruths that were purported to have been said by the Deputy Prime Minister. I raise it with you because I am concerned about that.

The SPEAKER —With great respect to the member for Prospect, if my memory serves me well, I too was concerned that both the member for Batman and the Leader of the House were attempting to get my attention at once, engaging in debate with each other and ignoring my call; and so I effectively ignored them both. I expect that nothing that either of them said will make its way into Hansard. If the Hansard proves to be in error, I will take it up with the member for Prospect but I have a clear conscience that what I did was equally disadvantageous to both.

Mrs Crosio —I appreciate what you have just said, but it was quite clear: the member for Batman had resumed his seat. I am not playing politics here. The Leader of the House was on his feet, speaking for a number of seconds, you then nodded to him and then stated to the member for Batman what he should or should not do. That was not heard throughout this House and it will be very difficult for us, when we go to read Hansard tomorrow, to see what should or should not have been said or what would have been added to or subtracted from. I do take on board what you have said, Mr Speaker, but I would repeat, for the benefit of Hansard and all members of this House, that no comments should go there that all of us have not shared in.

The SPEAKER —I will just point out to the member for Prospect that a genuine effort was made to be perfectly even-handed in the action, and I doubt that—

The SPEAKER —The member for Bruce may discover there is a very large problem if he thinks interjecting is in order.