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Thursday, 21 August 2003
Page: 19243

Mr LATHAM (4:20 PM) —Mr Speaker, I wish to make two personal explanations.

The SPEAKER —Does the honourable member for Werriwa claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr LATHAM —Yes, grievously so, by the same minister opposite.

The SPEAKER —The member for Werriwa may proceed, but I ask him to be somewhat closer to the standing orders than he was with his first personal explanation.

Mr LATHAM —In question time Minister Abbott said that something improper had happened with the employment of my sister at Liverpool City Council in the late 1980s. My sister is a trained child-care worker. All her adult life she has been a child-care worker. Having grown up in Liverpool—

The SPEAKER —The member for Werriwa must indicate where he was misrepresented.

Mr LATHAM —My recollection is that she was working for the council when I was elected in September 1987, and I certainly played no role in her employment.

The SPEAKER —This is not a matter that is covered by personal explanations. Does the member for Werriwa have a further matter to raise?

Mr LATHAM —Yes, I do. The same Minister Abbott said there was something improper in the way in which my sister and her partner were appointed by Liverpool council as caretakers of the historic Collingwood House. He tabled a newspaper clipping that is so old and tatty that it has no date on it.

The SPEAKER —The member for Werriwa will come to the personal explanation.

Mr LATHAM —I draw to the House's attention that, from what I can see from this newspaper clipping, it reports that as mayor at that meeting I declared a pecuniary interest and took no part in the discussion or council decision that led to the appointment of my sister at Collingwood House. My final point is that there were Liverpool councillors who were in the Liberal Party. If there had been something wrong it would have been referred to ICAC, and of course it never was.

The SPEAKER —The member for Werriwa will resume his seat. I call the Leader of the House, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations.

Ms Gillard —Come to apologise?

The SPEAKER —The member for Lalor has clearly a very surprisingly short memory. The Leader of the House has exactly the same rights as everyone else.