Page 5117 - Week 12 - Thursday, 27 October 2011

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Mr Hargreaves: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Stop the clocks. Mr Hargreaves.

Mr Hargreaves: Mr Speaker, whilst Mrs Dunne’s diatribe is quite entertaining, it does not refer specifically to the report. I ask you to ask her to stick to the report. We have an adjournment debate available for Mrs Dunne to do this if she wishes.

Mr Seselja: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, what Mrs Dunne is saying is highly relevant. The report is about whether or not to change the legislation. It is about casual vacancies, and she is talking about the history of casual vacancies. It could not be more relevant to the topic at hand.

Mr Hargreaves: On that point of order, Mr Speaker, Mrs Dunne is referring to activities within the Labor Party. She could not possibly know about any of that, and that is not relevant to the argument.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order. This is within the topic of discussion. Mrs Dunne, perhaps you can make it less personal as you seek to elaborate the point you are making.

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, I was reflecting on the history of countbacks, and the history I was reflecting on was reported widely in the Canberra Times at the time. It was widely reported that the ALP discouraged members from applying for the countback.

Mr Corbell: That is a lie.

MRS DUNNE: As a result of that, Mr Corbell was elected at that—

Mr Corbell: That is a lie.

Mr Seselja: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, Mr Corbell has twice said “that is a lie”, and he should withdraw.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, I invite you to withdraw.

Mr Corbell: I withdraw.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. It goes to show how sensitive the ALP is about this. What we are seeing here today and why I have dissented from the majority view in relation to passage of the casual vacancy bill is simply this: this is an attempt that came out of nowhere, and it is an attempt by the Labor Party to have control about who succeeds if there is a casual vacancy. It is counter to the spirit of Hare-Clark and it is counter to what was envisaged by the architects of Hare-Clark in the ACT.

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