Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017; In Committee
I want you to enforce the standing orders, as you have been so diligent in doing this morning.
The CHAIR: I certainly heard you say that, Senator Macdonald. I was simply asking you if you wish to clarify because there are a number of senators who are not clear on what it is that you are objecting to in particular.
It would be inappropriate for me to reflect on their inability to understand, as that would be a reflection. We always wear badges supporting various charitable causes. You look around, Chair. You're in charge of the joint. If you see anyone who is breaching a standing order that has been enforced by past presidents, including against me, then I ask you to enforce those standing orders again. If you can't see them, then perhaps you should go to Specsavers.
The CHAIR: Thank you, Senator Macdonald. It wasn't a matter of whether I could see them or not; it was seeking further clarification. I thank you for adding that clarification. As senators would be aware, and as Senator Macdonald alluded to in his point of order, there is a practice in the chamber that we wear small badges and pins to recognise particular days and so on. That's been a longstanding custom in the Senate.
Senator Macdonald is also correct in that we do have standing orders and rulings by Presidents that go to something more than that. There is a distinction, and the distinction is, where it is obvious that the message reflects on the views of the senator or is broad enough to be interpreted, the senator is called to order about the prop or the message that they are wearing. On the point of order that you've raised this morning, Senator Macdonald, I don't believe that the range of badges and pins that are being worn today in the Senate are a breach of that particular ruling. Thank you.