Page 4879 - Week 15 - Wednesday, 14 December 2005

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I tried to respond yesterday to Ms Porter, but I was not granted leave by the always helpful Mr Corbell and others. I make the general comment that lately Ms Porter has been getting quite nasty. We had the attack on Mrs Dunne yesterday; she attacked me for being “mean and tricky”; and, of course, there was the press release about the Grinch who killed the Christmas lights. This is becoming a pattern. I prefer the old Ms Porter, the old Mary Poppins Porter.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Refer to members by their proper titles, please.

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I prefer the old Ms Porter, who was pleasant and friendly when she came into this place. All I have seen is a lot of nastiness. I do not know if it is someone in her office who is writing the stuff or if she is saying to them, “Look, give me something nasty to say in the chamber when I go down.” I have to respond to her allegations of me being mean and tricky.

Ms Porter: Sneaky.

MR SESELJA: Mean and sneaky; I apologise. She said, “Mr Seselja lulled us into a false sense of security, leading us to understand that he was willing to work with other members, rather than against them.” I do not know if Ms Porter’s memory is fading but, in the committee, we spoke at length about various things. After something I put up was knocked off, I would say, “I’m probably going to make some dissenting comments on that.” In fact, in the very case on which she sided with me when I said to Mr Gentleman that we should put in the ACTION patronage figures, Mr Gentleman said, “Fine, let’s put in the ACTION patronage figures.” I did not get everything I wanted in, so I said, “I’ll probably make some dissenting comments on that.” Mr Gentleman then said, “Well, if you’re going to make dissenting comments about it, I’m not putting it in.” Amazingly, Ms Porter backed me and said, “That’s just silly. He should be able to put it in and make dissenting comments anyway.”

Then Ms Porter came into the chamber yesterday—I expect having forgotten about that exchange—and said, “This is mean and sneaky. You pulled one on us. I voted with you. I would not have voted with you if I had known.” I have to repeat that. I think that, from now on, we can just stick to the issues when discussing committee reports. The fact that I presented a dissenting report should not be offensive to Ms Porter. I think Ms Porter should start showing a bit more of her softer side, because the nastiness we have seen from her lately does not become her.


Jump rope for heart

MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (6.20): I rise to speak tonight about young people—not young people generally across the country but specifically young people here in the nation’s capital. Young people often get a lot of flack, and the media are often keen to portray the burnout specialist, the graffiti artist, the vandal and the violence that, unfortunately, sometimes occurs in this country. It seems to me that, unless we have perhaps a very talented young sports star, young Australians very rarely get the credit they deserve.

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