Wednesday, 16 June 2021
That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the member for Franklin from moving the following motion immediately—
That the House:
(a) the Federal Government continues to ignore calls to develop a national response plan to help farmers and regional communities impacted by the horrific mouse plague;
(b) the NSW Agriculture Minister has formally written to the Federal Government calling for a national response plan, but his request has been ignored;
(c) the Minister for Agriculture remains silent about how the Federal Government can assist; and
(d) farmers and regional communities continue to be ignored by this Federal Government; and
(2) therefore, calls on the Acting Prime Minister to attend the Chamber and explain how he will take responsibility to help farmers and regional communities deal with the impact of the devastating mouse plague.
Why won't this government help farmers with this mouse plague? Why are members of the National Party, who are meant to be supporting farmers—
As members know, I've asked the Leader of the House whether he made an unparliamentary remark. It obviously places the chair in a difficult situation, where I'm not hearing every interchange that's occurring because I'm trying to manage all aspects of the House. I'd just say to the Manager of Opposition Business: I don't want to be in a position where remarks are interjections where—the Leader of the House said he didn't make an parliamentary remark. I don't want the remarks to be remade, in that sense. But I've asked the Leader of the House whether he made an unparliamentary remark. The Manager of Opposition Business has made his request. I've asked whether an unparliamentary remark was made. The Leader of the House has said he hasn't made one. I asked the Leader of the House a question. He answered it.
The question is that the member for Franklin be no further heard.
I appreciate your comment earlier that when interjections are going back and forth you can't be expected to hear every interjection. I also appreciate that decisions on interjections and withdrawals have to be made at the time. Notwithstanding that, I ask whether you could examine the tape and, if you do find that an unparliamentary remark was made, that you could then privately counsel the member concerned. It has often been the case—
Honourable members interjecting—
Just pause for a second. If members can't see the irony that the Manager of Opposition Business is raising with me a question where he's just said that he understands that with the level of interjections I can't hear every interaction that's going on and then, while he's on his feet, members are interjecting—it's a pretty poor reflection. The Manager of Opposition Business will proceed.
It will often be the case that members of parliament say, in the heat of the moment, more than they should, and then they withdraw it. It is also the case that if the convention of not going after family members is not to be maintained in this House then the House does change in a way that is way beyond partisan politics. So, I simply ask that the moment not be lost and that you examine the tape and, given that it will be too late to deal with it within the House, that you privately counsel the member concerned if you do hear an unparliamentary remark at that particular time.
I thank the Manager of Opposition Business. Speakers have made clear in the past that they don't go and examine tapes and all the rest of it. But I will say this. I've asked whether an unparliamentary remark was made. The Leader of the House has said that he didn't make an unparliamentary remark. That doesn't mean that things that are said can lead to disorder in the House, and all members need to reflect on that. It's always open, of course, for any member, having reflected on that, to deal with a matter if they so decide. I'll leave it at that at this point.