Wednesday, 28 February 2007
Order! Yesterday at question time I undertook to consider remarks which were made during answers by Senator Ian Campbell to questions about the smartcard. As a preliminary point, I remind senators that it is extremely difficult for the chair to properly regulate the language used in the chamber when there is so much noise and shouting across the chamber, as there was yesterday and, at times, today. If senators wish the chair to maintain proper decorum in debate, they should refrain from that kind of behaviour.
Yesterday senators used the expression ‘hypocrites’ of other senators. That term is out of order under standing order 193(3) whether used of individual senators or groups of senators, and it was properly withdrawn by the two senators who used the term. Senator Ian Campbell yesterday referred to senators as ‘friends of the fraudsters’ and on Monday used similar terms and also referred to senators directly as a ‘fraudsters’ and ‘rorters’.
After a careful examination of the Hansard, it is clear that these terms are also out of order under standing order 193(3), and I now ask Senator Ian Campbell to withdraw them. I ask senators to refrain from such unparliamentary language in future and to avoid the sort of noise and disorder which has characterised question time yesterday and today.