Page 1143 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 30 March 2011

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MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Order! Members of the opposition will keep their comments to themselves.

MR STANHOPE: Allegations were made today in question time directly to the Deputy Chief Minister and she responded in full to those allegations. She is not here in the building now. Mr Hanson, unhappy with the answers that were provided in full, comes down here and, in his usual sneering, grubby way, repeats them in the absence of Ms Gallagher when she is not here to again defend herself, when she is not here to respond again in exactly the terms that she responded earlier today.

That is a sign of the lack of integrity of this man, this grubby little man—his lack of integrity, his lack of substance, his lack of character.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Please resume your seat, Chief Minister. Stop the clock. Mr Hanson, on a point of order.

Mr Hanson: I ask you to rule on whether “grubby little man” is unparliamentary, Mr Assistant Speaker.

MR STANHOPE: Well, it’s true.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Chief Minister, please. Firstly, I will take some advice from the Clerk on the term. I also suggest that neither side of the chamber is really contributing to the reputation of this place as a mature Assembly. I ask you to consider yourselves a bit more. Chief Minister, I will have to ask you, please, to withdraw the term “grubby”. It has been ruled out of order in the past.

MR STANHOPE: Just the word “grubby”? I withdraw the word “grubby”. I will conclude on just one further remark about this sort of puerile, petty, childish outing of a minister or a member who does not attend a function after having accepted. I guarantee that I attend in an official capacity more functions than anybody in this place, and I have an absolute legion of examples when each and every one of you opposite was acknowledged as having accepted an invitation but you are absent—sometimes all of you. Now, if you want to establish a practice in here where those of us that do attend—and I always, always, always attend, having accepted an invitation, so I am always there and I know who is not—

Opposition members interjecting

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Order, members! That will do. The next person gets warned. The next one will go. Mr Smyth, you could be on a holiday tomorrow.

MR STANHOPE: I am more than happy to develop a convention that when I am at a function and you are acknowledged as having attended and you are not there, for whatever reason—it may be that the reason is legitimate or understandable or explicable—I am more than happy to come into this place and table that fact every single time, if that is what you believe is appropriate. It is childish; it is puerile; it is pathetic. I cannot understand why you as mature politicians in this place believe it is

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