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Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Page: 2095

Mr FITZGIBBON (Hunter) (16:36): Mr Speaker, on indulgence—I would like to respond to the Prime Minister.

The SPEAKER: No. I will allow you to seek to make a personal explanation.

Mr FITZGIBBON: I can do it any way you like. I assure you I am not seeking to politicise the conversation—whichever way you would like to do it.

The SPEAKER: Just the right way, which is for you to seek to make a personal explanation.

Mr FITZGIBBON: I'm not sure that I have been misrepresented. I would have thought it would have been more appropriate to do this on indulgence. But if that is your ruling, Mr Speaker, I would be very happy to take—

The SPEAKER: I will let you address the matter on indulgence and we'll see how we go.

Mr FITZGIBBON: Obviously, the Prime Minister raised this issue in question time. As I understand it, in a technical sense there is a costs order. To the extent to which that is true, I apologise if I misled the House. I was not aware of, nor did I fully understand, that matter at the time. But I can explain to the House that I understand there was no agreement between the parties as to costs, there was no dollar figure and there has been no demand on me for costs. On that basis, I was not aware that a costs order had been made. If the Prime Minister wants to continue to spend taxpayers' money and continue to argue that 10 per cent has been given back by a costs order he can do so—

The SPEAKER: The member for Hunter will resume his seat.