Senate debates

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Questions to the President

Parliamentary Behaviour

3:03 pm

Photo of Jenny McAllisterJenny McAllister (NSW, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Cabinet Secretary) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr President, I have a procedural question to raise, and I apologise for not raising it earlier. I was not in my correct seat and was not in a position to raise this issue at the time that it occurred. During consideration of formal motions today a statement was made by the Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Senator Duniam, reflecting on Senator Keneally's motives in moving general business notice of motion No. 519, which concerned the importance of timely and accurate answers to questions on notice at estimates. It would be good if you could please review the Hansard of Senator Duniam's comments and give consideration as to whether they constituted an imputation of improper motives or a personal reflection contrary to standing order 193(3).

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

On that point, I do appreciate that I got a brief notice during question time. I will go back and reflect on the Hansardon two matters, because I do want to address a question that was raised as well during question time. Firstly, 193(3) is strict about imputations of improper motives and personal reflections on members of this place, the other place and various other places. I will review the Hansard and come back on that. But there was also during a question time a question that alleged the buying of a vote by a member of another place. In my view, if someone had raised a point of order on this front, I would have asked for that to be rephrased. From the rough Hansard I have of this—and I haven't been able to check all of it, but I will come back—on the phrase that has been highlighted to me but not re-read so far I would have also asked Senator Duniam to have rephrased that. But I do draw attention to the fact that I would have done similar on a question that referred to the buying of a vote. So could all senators please be very mindful of 193(3) and reflections and assigning improper motives to other senators and members. Thank you.