Page 975 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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Mr Hanson: On the point of order, you have ruled that the question was in order. You said that in the preamble there was an assertion that the answer that was given was incorrect. I think that, in the course of debate in this place, Mr Gentleman would regularly say, “What the opposition is saying is not true,” or “That is not correct. That is not factually accurate.” It is in the normal course of debate that we will say those things.

I think that, without getting into substantive debate, it is true that Mr Milligan believes and the opposition believes that the answer given was not correct. I think the opposition should have the ability to say, “Hey, we do not think that is right. We do not think that is correct.” We have got the right to do that.

So there is nothing that would rule that question out of order. You have said that. In the preamble to the question or in debate it is quite within the ability of any of us to say, “That is not correct.” I have heard Mr Gentleman say that things that we say are not correct, or Mr Rattenbury would say things that I have said are not correct. We are able to say that.

Are you saying that we are no longer able to say that because every time you say a word like that you are saying someone is lying? I mean, the whole point of debate is that we contest ideas. We contest facts. I have said on a number of occasions that Mr Gentleman has cut funding to police. He says that no, he has not. That does not necessarily mean that we have to withdraw those statements.

MR ACTING SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, I understand the point that you are making, but in this instance we are talking about the semantics of the word “false”. If indeed Mr Milligan had said that that answer was incorrect, it probably would not have crossed what is a very, very narrow line.

Mr Gentleman: I will point out that Mr Hanson, of course, is reflecting on and debating the ruling of the Speaker now, which is against the standing orders as well. If he disagrees with your ruling, Mr Acting Speaker, he can move a motion against your ruling. But he is, again, not standing within the standing orders just within this last comment.

Mr Hanson: On a point of order. I do not think you have actually made a ruling, Mr Acting Speaker. Have you made a ruling, Mr Acting Speaker? I think you were getting to it.

MR ACTING SPEAKER: I have not actually quite made the ruling, Mr Gentleman.

Mr Hanson: So he is wrong, is he not?

MR ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you, members. So whilst it is open to Mr Milligan to move a substantive motion, it is against the standing orders to ask a question that contains an imputation or inference. And so I ask Mr Milligan to withdraw any imputation against Ms Berry.

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