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The responsible Minister, Police and Emergency Services Minister Gary Humphries, has a lot to explain. He should also give his police officers some instruction in basic community relations - either that or lessons in how to transfer telephone calls.
Mr Speaker, I am paid to take that kind of rubbish; but these people are not, particularly in circumstances where at this stage there is no evidence that any police officer actually fielded a call and treated it in the way described by Mr Whitecross in his press release. When we have contact with Mr Gration we might find otherwise, but I would hope that Mr Whitecross has the self-respect to be prepared to offer an apology to officers of the Australian Federal Police, if indeed my advice from the deputy commissioner that there was no call put through to any of those officers in this matter is confirmed.
Mrs Carnell: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.
Mr Berry: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I was clearly intending to ask a further question. The point of order that I raise is about fair treatment in this chamber. Mr Kaine has had a couple of questions. I think the Opposition parties ought to be given the same opportunity as backbenchers from the Liberal side of the house. I think it is grossly unfair for you, Mr Speaker, not to take note of rising members from the Opposition parties and instead to respond in favour of the Leader of the Government. Mr Speaker, I draw that matter to your attention. I think it is going to fall on deaf ears, but it is a protest that I intend to make. It seems as though the convention of fair play that has been observed in this place in relation to question time is going to go out the window if the Liberals have their way.
Mr De Domenico: Mr Speaker, Mr Berry is clearly reflecting on the Chair, and I think he should be asked to withdraw those comments.
Mr Kaine: Mr Speaker - - -
Mr Berry: I will make it clear whom I am reflecting on. I am reflecting on the Liberals. Mr Speaker, all I am saying to you is that I want the convention of fair play observed.
Mr Kaine: Mr Speaker, I think I was on my feet before Mr Berry.
MR SPEAKER: I call Mr Kaine on a point of order.
Mr Kaine: If I may, without his interrupting and cutting across me, I would like to address the point of order that he raised. Mr Speaker, I got to my feet to ask a second question only after I waited to see whether anybody else in this place had a question to ask. I did not spring to my feet instantaneously. I waited to see whether anybody else had a question to ask. Nobody did. There is nothing in our standing orders, that I know of, that allows the Opposition to become incensed at a question that is asked and then demand to have a right to ask another question. If it is in the standing orders, I would like Mr Berry to explain where it is.