Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 1011 ..
I believe it would undermine the day-to-day activities of a place of such stature as this if we were to allow this activity to continue. Mrs Cross talks of humiliation in regard to breastfeeding. I would suggest we consider the feelings, rights and humiliation of those on the other side of the fence, and in particular the embarrassment it may cause to others in the chamber. It is not embarrassing to me; I would not mind seeing any woman breastfeeding.
No one is questioning Mrs Cross' support of breastfeeding-certainly not me. But, surely, we must maintain a certain level of decorum in such a place as this. There are ample facilities here to accommodate lactating mothers. On either side of the chamber we have a perfectly good lounge. I am all for this matter going forward. I therefore support Ms Tucker's amendment that this matter be referred to Administration and Procedure.
MR PRATT(11.27): I rise to support Ms Tucker's amendment. I believe that the issues surrounding breastfeeding need to be aired in this place. Mothercare in this place needs to be secure, so I am quite pleased that this issue has been brought to the fore. However, I am deeply angry and concerned at the shallowness of Mrs Cross's motion, and I wish to record my concern.
I had a staff member who was breastfeeding, and that member was forced to remove her child. I had allowed that member to breastfeed her child in my office, and three female dinosaurs in my parliamentary opposition party grouping were responsible for that. I have it on very good authority that Mrs Cross was one of the three.
Mrs Cross: That's a lie! That is a lie!
MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Cross withdraw that.
Mrs Cross: That is a lie!
MR SPEAKER: Resume your seat, Mr Pratt. Order, Mrs Cross! Withdraw that.
Mrs Cross: What he said was a lie.
MR SPEAKER: Withdraw it, Mrs Cross.
Mrs Cross: If he withdraws the lie. That was a lie.
MR SPEAKER: Mrs Cross, I order you to withdraw it.
Mrs Cross: I withdraw.
MR SPEAKER: Thank you.
MR PRATT(11.28): Thank you, Mr Speaker. As I was saying, my parliamentary party colleague was forced to remove her child from this place.