Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 1006 ..
opposition have done over the years. I have benefited from being able to bring my children to work when I was a staffer for the Liberal Party and, because I am now a member, I have the capacity to do that.
Mr Pratt has also had a staff member who brought children to work. It is a shame that some of the former staff of the opposition and some of the former members of the opposition actively lobbied to have that staff member take her child into child care because they did not like to hear the sound of the odd cry and a little bit of pattering of tiny feet up the hallways from time to time. It is a shame, talking about double standards and hypocrisy in this house, that the member who tried to have that woman put her child into child care is now moving this motion today in favour of breastfeeding.
Mrs Cross: That is nonsense. On a point of order, Mr Speaker, I refer to the standing order on misrepresentation. I have never done such a thing, and I ask this member to withdraw that statement.
MR SPEAKER: Order, order!
Mr Cornwell: What standing order?
Mrs Cross: This member has just misrepresented me, and I want her to withdraw that statement.
MR SPEAKER: Resume your seat, Mrs Cross. You are entitled to seek my leave to make a personal statement in due course, but I do not think there is a point of order there.
MRS DUNNE: The Liberal opposition will be supporting Ms Tucker's amendment to refer this to Administration and Procedure. We have had very cumbersome contretemps in the corridors of this place this week over this issue. It would have been very simple for Mrs Cross to come in here today to move her perfectly reasonable motion that is already on the program and refer this matter to Administration and Procedure, but we have had to have another drama over this and I am not minded to bow to the need to have drama.
It does not matter whether we are the first or the third or the fifth legislature in the country to change the standing order. The point is that we do it properly with full regard for all the members. I am sure that there are members, both male and female, who would not be desperately comfortable about the notion of breastfeeding in the chamber. Personally, I would not breastfeed in the chamber, because I would not be able to give the appropriate attention to the child if I am concentrating on debate. I should be somewhere else; I would be quite happy to do it in the lobby.
That is what happened to Kirstie Marshall the other day. She was not ejected; she was not ruled out of order by the Speaker. She was directed by an attendant, who suggested she would be more comfortable if she went into the nicely appointed lobby that they have for this purpose. She was not ejected. I raised this question at the time, and I raise it here today: how much of this was Kirstie Marshall being an innocent dupe of the Labor government, who probably want to make substantial and overdue changes to upper house procedures and the electoral system and used this as a stalking horse to show how antiquated parliamentary procedures are.