Personal Explanations – House of Representatives

Members of Parliament may rise in the chamber and claim to be misrepresented.

Members who claim to be misrepresented are permitted to give a brief personal explanation.

This is the text and audio of personal explanations from three members of the House of Representatives on November 29, 2004.

The three members were: Ian Causley, the National Party member for Page; Anthony Albanese, the ALP member for Grayndler; and Tony Windsor, the independent member for New England. All three members were from New South Wales.

  • Listen to the personal explanations (5m)

Hansard transcript of personal explanations in the House of Representatives, November 29, 2004.

Mr CAUSLEY (3:20 PM) —Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

The SPEAKER —Does the member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr CAUSLEY —I do.

The SPEAKER —Please proceed.

Mr CAUSLEY —On Thursday, 18 November, the last sitting of this parliament, the Sydney Morning Herald published a story with the banner headline ‘Deputy PM named as bribe row flares’. Accompanying that story was a large photograph of me talking to the member for New England and the Deputy Prime Minister was walking past. That photograph must have been taken on Wednesday, 17 November, at about two or three minutes to two, because that was the only time that I spoke to the member for New England. The photograph had on it a caption that read, ‘Whatever it takes’.

The member for New England made a statement to this House at 7.30. So to tie the photograph and the story together is a breach of the rules as laid down by the Speaker. The cut-and-paste fabrication of the story for sensational effect, with a conspiratorial reference, I believe must breach any journalistic ethics as well.

Mr ALBANESE (3:21 PM) —Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

The SPEAKER —Does the member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr ALBANESE —I do.

The SPEAKER —Please proceed.

Mr ALBANESE —Yesterday on the Insiders program Michael O’Connor of the forestry division of the CFMEU stated that I called members of his union `vandals’ during an interview on the AM program. This is not true. I have respect for all workers and have never criticised workers for doing the job they are paid to do. Companies and politicians, not individual workers, determine environmental practices.

Mr WINDSOR (3:21 PM) —Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

The SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr WINDSOR —Yes, I do.

The SPEAKER —Please proceed.

Mr WINDSOR —Before making the personal explanation, I would like to concur with the comments of the member for Page. That photograph was taken when he was talking to me about the health of the Hon. Bob Katter before question time. In question time on 18 November 2004, in answer to a question from the Leader of the Opposition to the Deputy Prime Minister about comments made to me in a conversation with me in this House relating to his contact with Mr Greg Maguire, the Deputy Prime Minister misrepresented this conversation. He said:

Yes, I was walking out of this place—I think it was probably during June … and on the way out he—

meaning me—

motioned me over and said, ‘I understand you might want to talk to me.’

The Deputy Prime Minister’s version of his response was:

‘No. What? I don’t know anything about it.’ I have no understanding whatsoever as to why he thought I might want to talk to him about it. I still don’t. I said to him: ‘No. If I want to talk to you at some point in the future, I’ll get in contact.’

Those are the words that the Deputy Prime Minister misrepresented in this House last week. This is a misrepresentation of that conversation.

The SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member has explained where he has been misrepresented.

Mr WINDSOR —No, I have not. My recollection of that conversation was that I said: ‘John, I understand you want to talk to me. People are saying in Tamworth that you are saying I won’t talk to you. I’m more than happy to talk to you at any time.’ Mr Anderson then said, ‘You mean my meeting with Mr Maguire,’ to which I said, ‘Not only Greg Maguire but others in the community.’ This is a correct account of that conversation.

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