Monday, 31 March 2014

In which House of Representatives Speaker Bronwyn Bishop fails to acknowledge a Point of Order and allows comment on a matter still before an Australian court

On Tuesday 25 March 2014 former member for Dobell, Craig Thomson, was released on bail (approximately one hour after sentencing) after his legal team appealed the three-month jail sentence.

One day later in the House of Representatives Prime Minister Tony Abbott mentioned Craig Thomson in relation to the matter under appeal.

Because the matter is still sub judice Abbott's remarks were irresponsible at best and prejudicial at worst.

Hansard 26 March 2014:

Mr SHORTEN (Maribyrnong—Leader of the Opposition) (14:40): My question is to the Prime Minister.
Why does the government have a plan to bring back knights and dames, but no plan for Australian jobs? Prime Minister, why is the Abbott government's priority a plan to bring back knighthoods? ….

Mr ABBOTT: This is a government which is capable of doing several things at the same time. But our priority is lifting the burdens on Australian families, and last week we tried to scrap the carbon tax, and Labor made the carbon tax stay. Yesterday we tried to scrap the mining tax, and Labor made the mining tax stay. We are trying to clean up the building and construction industry; Labor is trying to stop that. We are trying to get rid of
union rorts, rackets and rip-offs, and corruption of the sort that the former member for Dobell was engaged in; Labor is still protecting that kind of wrongdoing. These are our priorities; I am proud of them.

Mr Burke: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. If there was ever a breach of standing order 104(a), it is what we just heard.

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister has the call.

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