Wednesday, 16 September 2009
In the course of her remarks in the debate about the schools program today, the Deputy Prime Minister said that I had never publicly described our alternative proposal for schools of $3 billion over three years, on the basis of the Investing In Our Schools Program. Just to assist the Deputy Prime Minister, who is obviously very busy trying to pick up the blunders in her own department, I refer her to pages 181 and 182 of Hansard of 4 February.
An article today by ABC Rural online about the decision to allow Filipino bananas into the country states:
Mr Burke says it was the National Party, and Warren Truss as the then Agriculture Minister, that initiated the process in 2000.
I have read the transcript and, frankly, I cannot see any reference that Mr Burke made such a statement. He would not make such a statement because he knows that it is false. The decision to open the door to Filipino bananas was made during the term of the current government not the previous government.
I should explain that I do have a list of speakers and whilst I am against having lists for things in the parliament and people should earn the right by jumping up to speak, people have had the decency to give me a nod that they wish the call. The member for Cook actually did it before question time and before we had a disagreement about his behaviour.
I refer to a press release by the Australian Sex Party, which was issued just the other day. It makes a reference to a number of claims about what I have said which are untrue. It says:
Mr Morrison has proposed a change to our national censorship laws …
It further says that I had said:
… consensual adult erotica could potentially be more damaging than guns.
This is not true. What I said related to state laws, the New South Wales Classification (Publication, Films and Computer Games) Enforcement Act 1995. I said that the exemption that applies to parents that enables them to show kids pornographic material should be removed as it appears not only in this act but in a number of other acts. My other comment was that if we can protect our children from guns we can certainly protect them from porn.
On another matter, today during the debate over the proposed censure motion the Deputy Prime Minister indicated that I had made claims in this place about schools in my electorate that are untrue. I do not know how the minister was able to announce the results of an investigation she has not undertaken. During question time, I provided her with the follow-up information to those schools. So I do not know how she can claim they are untrue when she did not know what the school was.
In the Deputy Prime Minister’s speech in response to the House censuring her performance, she alleged that I refused to provide her office with more detail on the questions I raised last week in parliament. In fact, what I told the Deputy Prime Minister both verbally and in writing yesterday was that all the information is contained in the questions I had asked in this place. In addition, I said that given her department was handing out this money, surely they would have all the details. I seek leave to table the letter and the Hansard.
During question time, when I asked the Prime Minister about his statement at the time of the election about his government intending to turn back asylum seekers, I was grossly misrepresented by a selective quote which seems to have been the Prime Minister’s attempt to not answer the question.
He referred to Senator Evans’s principles of detention and also to a report of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration which had been tabled literally only weeks after I had joined that committee. That was selective misrepresentation of my remarks and I categorically say they were a misrepresentation.
During question time, the Minister for Social Inclusion, not being very socially inclusive, sought to suggest that I made false claims about the Baulkham Hills North Public School in relation to Building the Education Revolution funding. I did no such thing and, indeed, I quote the words of the Baulkham Hills North Public School P&C president who said that, in accepting the funding for a much needed hall, ‘strongly rejected being bullied into accepting a design that will never meet the needs of the school and is a waste of taxpayers money’.
Emma McDonald, the education reporter for the Canberra Times, wrote today: ‘Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne said his office had received at least 60 complaints.’ I have never spoken to Emma McDonald about this matter, so I do not know how she could claim that I said any such thing. She did speak to my media adviser yesterday who, in response to the question, ‘Are 49 complaints about right?’ said, ‘Well, that can’t be right because we have at least 60 here in our own hands.’
In the House today on the censure motion, the Deputy Prime Minister said:
We had the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in here talking about administrative fees in the Northern Territory. We held that up to the light and it was just not true.
In my question on 8 September 2009, to which the Deputy Prime Minister refers, I said:
I refer the minister to the Northern Territory government’s internal advice that nearly 13 per cent of the schools stimulus package funding will be soaked up in project management fees …
I seek leave to table the internal advice of the Northern Territory government which states that the stimulus package funding project management fees will be 12.94 per cent.
Leave not granted.