Page 4333 - Week 10 - Thursday, 22 September 2011
MR SPEAKER: Members!
MR BARR: The first is that Mr Smyth suffers from such a complete lack of self-awareness that he cannot see how improper his actions have been. Secondly, he is in fact fully aware of the inappropriateness of his actions but he simply does not care; that he holds in contempt both the right—
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MR BARR: of the Assembly’s committee to reach its own findings and the right of the Chief Minister to be free of his grubby and unsubstantiated attacks.
Mr Seselja: A point of order, Mr Speaker.
MR BARR: Mr Speaker, given Mr Smyth’s—
MR SPEAKER: Mr Barr, one moment, thank you. Yes, Mr Seselja.
Mr Seselja: We understand Mr Barr is angry; they have had a bad week. But using the term “grubby” is unparliamentary and he should be called to account. It is not in the motion. It is not a substantive motion and he cannot use unparliamentary language just because it is a censure motion.
MR BARR: Mr Speaker, I will withdraw the word “grubby”.
MR SPEAKER: Thank you. And before you continue, Mr Barr, members, I am going to expect this debate to proceed without interjection. I have short shrift for it today and I may not issue warnings. I do not have to issue warnings; it is a courtesy of the chair. I expect this debate to proceed in a manner that is fairly tidy. Mr Barr, you have the floor.
MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. So the Chief Minister has the right to be free of unsubstantiated attacks from the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. But given his form in this place over many years, not least his known propensity to descend into tactics such as push polling in order to smear and sully the reputations of his political opponents, no-one in this place—
Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, again, this is a slur on Mr Smyth which does not relate to the motion, and Mr Barr needs to withdraw it. You need to bring him to book or we are not going to be able to get through this in any sort of civilised way at all. Mr Barr needs to be very careful with his words. There is latitude, as you have rightly said in response to my point of order, about what he can talk about, but he cannot be unparliamentary and he cannot slur Mr Smyth as he just did in relation to push polling.