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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (14 November) . . Page.. 3648 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Mr Pratt said last night that I had likened this country's Prime Minister, John Howard, the USA's President Bush and the UK's Prime Minister Blair to those in the terrorist category. What I actually said is that we must find a politics of hope. It is as simple as that. Bush and Blair, with John Howard, just like the terrorists and totalitarians they believe they are opposing, are unable to give us that-the politics of hope that I referred to. I did need to make that personal explanation.

He also called for an apology. I think he needs to apologise and needs to look at transcripts before he has his outbursts. He is also distinguishing himself as a new member by continually interjecting, which is not particularly useful. I would ask you to draw attention, for his benefit, to standing order 55, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Tucker, you also showed me the Hansard, wherein Mr Pratt said something like, "You give comfort to those who would attack this country."That is an unacceptable imputation, Mr Pratt, because that is the traitor line. I do not think it benefits this house for you to say that sort of thing about members. If you think that is the case, you should do it by way of a substantive motion. I ask you to withdraw that line.

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, can I clarify what he actually said? That is not quite correct. He said:

Whether or not Ms Tucker understands that these comments provide some sort of encouragement and comfort to those who would seek to attack our country is beyond me ...

The point is that he had not understood my comments in the first place. It is highly disorderly, of course, to imply that I would seek to give encouragement of any kind to people who would seek to attack this country.

Mr Cornwell: I believe that what Ms Tucker has just read, and in confirmation of what Mr Pratt said, was a qualified comment.

Mr Pratt: Absolutely.

MR SPEAKER: I think it imputes some improper motive, and I have just asked you to withdraw it in the interests of parliamentary debate, Mr Pratt. Before you rise to your feet, I will also draw to your attention some comments you made about politicians in other places, referring to them as "fruitloops".

That is not disorderly, but you have to understand that you elevate the temperature of the debate in other places as well, where it is likely to rebound on you and others. It is open to you to make that sort of criticism; it is not disorderly for you to do so. But it would be hard for you to claim that you had been injured by similar comments coming from another place. In relation to the comment we have just discussed regarding Ms Tucker's intentions, I think there has been an imputation, and I would prefer that you withdraw the comments.

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, I would like to examine the Hansard before I come back to this place and respond to your advice.

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