Thursday, 18 October 2018
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, you and the Minister for Home Affairs misled parliament yesterday when it was claimed there are about 65 medical personnel on Nauru and that children are evacuated on their advice. The truth is there's only half that number at any time and medical advice is routinely overturned by Border Force. In fact, virtually all the children that have been evacuated were because of Federal Court orders or the threat of legal action. Prime Minister, will you correct the record, or will you continue to peddle lies about the abuse of the children suffering in Nauru? After all, the community expects politicians to lie but not to lie about children's lives.
The member for Denison has been here long enough to know that if he wants to accuse any member of the House of misleading the parliament then he has to do so by a substantive motion, and he also can't accuse people of telling lies in the parliament, particularly not in a question.
On the second point, the Leader of the Opposition is right. On the first he's wrong, and I'll explain why. The term 'deliberately mislead' would—
Mr Hill interjecting—
The member for Bruce can leave under 94(a). I'm not going to be continually interrupted.
The member for Bruce then left the chamber.
The words 'deliberately mislead' can't be made other than by a substantive motion, but the word 'lie' cannot be used. There's a long history of that. That needs to be withdrawn and—
An opposition member interjecting—
Well, I'm not going to have members on either side argue with black-and-white history. There was a former member of the Gillard government who was asked by the Speaker to withdraw that term, and certainly withdrew that term and came up with other terms. There are other terms, but I'm not going to give you an education on the terms you can use, okay? Seriously, I'm not conducting some sort of class. The member for Denison needs to rephrase the question or withdraw those words.