Questions to the Speaker – Question Time (2)
18 September 2007
Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (3.16 p.m.)—Mr Speaker, during question time today the Prime Minister stated about the Leader of the Opposition: ‘when you know you are lying through your teeth’. It is quite clear that that is out of order. It has been ruled out of order in the past. I raised the issue in a point of order to you, but you refused to act. Mr Speaker, can you reflect on the Hansard and report back to the House either now or at the next opportunity?
The SPEAKER—I say to the Manager of Opposition Business that I was listening carefully. He would be well aware that the use of the word ‘lie’ is not encouraged. It does not add to the dignity of the House. However, there is a difference between accusing someone of being a liar and using the expression ‘is a lie’. I have ruled on the point. I do not intend to revisit it.
Mr ALBANESE—Mr Speaker, just to confirm: your ruling is that it is parliamentary if members on either side of the chamber say: ‘when you know you are lying through your teeth’? That will be ruled in future?
The SPEAKER—I say to the Manager of Opposition Business that if he refers to the House of Representatives Practice he will see quite clearly that it depends on the context, the circumstances and the use of particular language.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.