Wednesday, 31 July 2019
I wish to make a personal explanation. Today in question time, the Treasurer purported to quote from The Australian, which he didn't, about our position on tax cuts and statements I made before the caucus. His statements were incorrect. What I said very clearly was that we always supported stage 1 of the tax cuts and, indeed, argued for it at the election campaign.
An article published in The West Australian today stated there is a plan being considered by the government to put economic ratings on Indigenous communities. This is wrong. I want to place on the record that there is no such plan, nor did I ask for one to be prepared.
Today in question time the member for Blaxland misrepresented me—as did the ABC about a week ago—in relation to the growth in homelessness versus population. Both claimed I referred to the period from the 2011 census to the 2016 census. That's untrue. I was very clear that over a 15-year period from 2001 to 2016, three levels of homelessness reduced despite a 20 per cent increase in the Australian population.
Today I was reported by a media outlet as playing down sexual assault allegations as a beat-up following a story aired earlier. As I entered parliament this morning, I was asked by a journalist about bullying in the Liberal Party. I indicated that I was not a member of the Liberal Party, rather, a member of the National Party, and that the National Party had just had three more talented women elected in this House and in the other place. I also added that the same occurred in the Liberal Party, with many more talented women entering the House of Representatives and the other place. Unaware of the stories being reported earlier in the day about sexual harassment allegations, I thought the question asked of me, which I thought was quite reasonable, related to matters that were raised after a change in the Liberal Party leadership last year. This is what I was referring to as a beat-up.
I practised medicine for 33 years, caring for women of all ages and some of them were victims of sexual assault and violence—