Page 511 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 10 February 2009

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MR HANSON: That is exactly right.

Mr Stanhope: How is this relevant to the standing orders? This was an issue—

Mr Smyth: He got leave.

Mr Stanhope: This was a very sort of tender and sensitive response by the member to comments made publicly by the minister, and I cannot see for the life of me how this is relevant to the standing orders. If we are now to use the standing orders to respond to radio interviews that upset us—

MR HANSON: I have been misrepresented.


Mr Stanhope: If you have been misrepresented, take the opportunity to explain to us why you think you are not sexist.


MR HANSON: I will do so if you allow me to talk, Mr Stanhope.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, please continue. There is no point of order. Mr Hanson, I would ask you to return to your personal explanation as to how you have been misrepresented.

MR HANSON: Yes, I will, Mr Speaker. I made comments about the separation of the responsibilities of Treasury and Health because in my view the Treasury portfolio, given the economic crisis that we face, and the Health portfolio, given the ageing of our population and the crisis that health is in, require that those ministerial responsibilities be split. At no stage had I suggested that that was an issue of gender, that Ms Gallagher was incapable because of any assertion as to her gender. It was simply a matter that no minister, at the current time, should have those two responsibilities.

My concern is that, because she has now made those assertions and has refused to retract them, as I move forward, and obviously in my role as the shadow minister, I will have criticisms of her performance and will scrutinise her performance, and the cloud of allegations of sexism that she has refused to retract hangs over me.

Ms Gallagher: Well, stop talking about it, you fool!

MR HANSON: If she would only retract it then we can move on without any concern. The other issue is that I am personally affronted. I have made comments—

Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. The terms of the standing order are quite concise in that the member can only use the standing order to indicate where he has been misrepresented. Broader indications about how they feel about something or how offended they are about something do not really fall within that. The point of the

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