Page 3482 - Week 09 - Thursday, 20 August 2009

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For the last couple of minutes of his speech Mr Seselja has sought to impugn the character of my colleague Mr Barr. He has suggested that Mr Barr has lied in correspondence. This is a highly personal reflection on the character of Mr Barr. It is disorderly. If the Liberal Party feels so strongly about this matter, they should have moved a substantive motion against Mr Barr in this place. Instead, they are seeking to use a discussion on a matter of public importance—there is not even a question before the chair—to slur Mr Barr’s character in a way which is disorderly and contrary to the standing orders and reflects very poorly on them.

Madam Assistant Speaker, I ask that you ask Mr Seselja to withdraw all of those reflections on Mr Barr that are quite disorderly, and then we can proceed with this discussion.

MR SESELJA: Madam Assistant Speaker, on the point of order: we have drawn conclusions from Mr Barr’s own words versus what Mr Doszpot—

Mr Corbell: It does not matter what conclusions—

MR SESELJA: I will finish. I will make my point, if I could, without being interrupted. We have made our conclusions. I have not said anything that suggests he has misled the Assembly, which ordinarily requires a motion of the Assembly.

Mr Corbell: All personal reflections are highly disorderly.

MR SESELJA: We are entitled to make judgements on the behaviour of ministers. Mr Doszpot actually said in his address that he expects that Minister Barr will come and correct, and if he does not, we may well move a motion. But we are quite entitled to make the case and to draw conclusions about the kind of behaviour that Mr Barr has engaged in in this matter.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Burch): I uphold the point of order. Under standing order 55, I ask you to withdraw your comments. It is not appropriate—

MR SESELJA: So which ones, Madam Assistant Speaker?

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: The comment that Mr Barr is a liar and—

MR SESELJA: Well, I did not call him a liar, Madam Assistant Speaker.

Mr Corbell: Madam Assistant Speaker—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: reflecting on his character. Standing order 55 states:

… imputations of improper motives and all personal reflections on Members shall be considered highly disorderly.

MR SESELJA: Well, if you point me to the words. I will withdraw whatever the words are you are asking me to withdraw. I do not quite know what the words are.

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