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Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Page: 2083

Senator Abetz —Mr President, I rise on a point of order. The Leader of the Government in the Senate has sought to claim that there have been inappropriate opposition interjections. I put to you, as a point of order, that when ministers are allowed to directly provoke, by name, and refer in the first person to senators across the chamber, it is likely that interjections will flow. I therefore invite you, Mr President, to bring the minister to order.

The PRESIDENT —There is no point of order.

Honourable senators interjecting—

Senator Sterle interjecting—

The PRESIDENT —Order! Senator Sterle: order! Comments should be made to the chair and not across the chamber.

Senator CONROY —I accept your admonishment, Mr President. Senator Joyce has now been pulled into line—temporarily, at least—and says that he supports the coalition’s big, new tax. He calls our scheme a ‘rebadged baby bonus’. Under the opposition’s scheme, pensioners and working families will pay more to provide up to $75,000 to high-income earners. Their plan is a baby bonus jackpot for the wealthy. The point continues to escape the Leader of the Opposition. We are still recovering from the worst global recession— (Time expired)