House debates

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Statement by the Speaker

Member for Maranoa

3:20 pm

Photo of Milton DickMilton Dick (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

I have a statement to make regarding the member for Maranoa, who raised an issue around standing order 68 yesterday when I endeavoured to get back to him. Standing order 68 provides an opportunity for a member to correct a misrepresentation, whether during proceedings or otherwise, through a personal explanation to the House. Should another member repeat a matter complained of as a misrepresentation, standing order 68 states that the Speaker may intervene. The challenges of such action have been recognised by speakers since the inclusion of that clause in the standing orders in around 2013. One of the challenges I have, and it was also acknowledged by Speaker Bishop in 2014, is the need for the chair 'to be satisfied that the matter complained of is an exact repetition of the matter responded to by way of personal explanation.'

That would be a difficult task for the chair, but as Speaker I have a role to enable the free flow of speech and debate in the House. An approach available to the Speaker in a situation where a member has made a personal explanation is to correct a specific personal matter claiming a misrepresentation and then complain to the chair that the misrepresentation has been repeated by the use of the same words. The chair may ask the offending member to refrain from again repeating the misrepresentation, while noting that, in asking a member to so refrain, the chair is not making any judgement as to the truth or otherwise of the alleged misrepresentation of the correction. I note that, should the chair intervene in this matter, the member making the complaint will not have the opportunity to subsequently make a personal explanation on that matter.

In the case raised by the member for Maranoa, the Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government have referred in question time to a tweet from 9 May 2022. The member for Maranoa has complained that by not using the full text of the tweet he has been misrepresented. As Speaker it is not my role to adjudicate on the truth or otherwise of what is said in the House, and I remind all members of the need to be careful with the language they use in proceedings.