28 Mar | '2023

Angie Bell MP
Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education
Shadow Minister for Youth
Federal Member for Moncrieff



27 March 2023

Subjects: Behaviour in Parliament


Interesting moment happened in the Federal Parliament today that I wanted to tell you about. Angie Bell is new member in the LNP, she represents a seat that’s in and around the Gold Coast, and she’s in a same sex relationship. She is part of the new face of the new Liberal Party, right. Yet still Labor people was throwing slurs at her. Here’s part of what happened in Parliament.

Well, I don’t know if the Member for Hawke reads the news, but the cost of early learning has already increased on your watch. The latest CPI data, again they’re arguing, arguing with the facts.

I’ve received comments from the media and in the chamber concerning an interjection I made during debate earlier today, during a speech by the Honourable Member for Moncrieff. The comments have alleged that my interjection was of a personal nature against the Member. This is absolutely not correct. I accept that interjections are always disorderly and apologise to the Member for being disruptive during her speech. My comments made absolutely no reference to the member herself. The comments that have been attributed by some to me were not made by me and would never be made by me.

And what he’s saying here is that he is not the person responsible for suggesting that this woman in the same sex relationship, that at least my kids on my own. Now he denies that but certainly the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, Susan Ley, absolutely gave it to him. He issued that statement in the House and the further denial publicly but little bit of a pattern here. Sarah Henderson remember brought to tears by the behaviour of people in the Senate.

Senator Watt said the most the most disgraceful thing, and he is to withdraw it. I am disgusted in you.

And of course, all of this is meant to be part of the new softer, better politics, right?

We will be a majority government, but I’ve said before that we will respect people.

But the reality here is that you’ve got people in the Senate, you’ve got people in the Lower House, or at the very least, people are being accused of saying some pretty unpleasant things. Now remember if the situation was reversed, we’d have the Canberra bubble part three, and the Guardian would still be writing about it, but because it’s about Liberals, this is the only time you’ve heard about it.

Angie Bell and I spoke a bit earlier today, specifically about what was said.

Well, this is about Labor’s rank hypocrisy from across the Chamber during Private Member’s Business this morning, where I started speaking about childcare, the early learning sector, which is of course, my portfolio area. There were some slurs from across the Chamber that simply were, well, let’s say below the belt from the Member for Hawke. I pointed that out at the end of question time that we weren’t happy about those particular slurs that he was making that went beyond what should happen in this place.

It seemed very personal, and I don’t know what you want to say about this. But what are your personal circumstances and why is what was said so harmful?

People around the country have different families and not everybody’s family looks exactly the same. When you cross the line on the floor of Parliament and you make assertions that may or may not be true around whether people have family, or what their family looks like or, in fact, the reasons why they have the family the way they look. That’s just not appropriate, it’s certainly not something that we on our side of the Chamber are going to put up with.
We’ve seen this from the other side, not just today from the Member for Hawke, but we’ve also seen it for Senator Sarah Henderson, the other day in the Senate, where she was slurred from the other side of the Chamber and also Michelle Landry, you might recall a few months ago, where the Prime Minister attacked her from the floor of Parliament.

This is post-review in terms of more respect in the Parliament, and it’s just not on. It’s hypocrisy from Labor, it’s not good enough.

Well, surprise, surprise, remember, Albo said are we going to walk the talk and all the rest of it? Well, it goes way back to when the Liberal Party allegedly had its problem with women and 55 Labor staffers came out and said there’s major problems in Labor. Media, nothing to see here. If it was Liberal MPs that were behaving like the ones that are there now for the Government. We know what the institutional reaction of the media would be. These are the people who claim to be setting a better example. They’re sending a worse example than ever before, aren’t they?

Well, that’s exactly right Paul. The example is below the belt from the other side of the chamber. It’s not right, it’s not on and we’re not going to put up with it. I have to say that I will defend the men on our side of the Chamber in terms of their manners and the way that they treat the women on our side of the Chamber. They defend us, they stand up for us and we saw that today in the Chamber.

Well, and my sense here is that they think they’re in Government forever. Look what’s just happened in New South Wales. We can get away with anything, we can get a few punches in and if they’re below the belt, and if they’re away from the microphone, then we’ll be able to get away with it. What does it speak to you about the arrogance of the Government that they think that they’re now so fortified nothing’s gonna go wrong, they can get away with anything?

Well, the arrogance and hubris is on display every day in the Chamber and it seems to be getting worse. We see it from the Prime Minister, and now we’re seeing it from his backbench who are intimating slurs across the chamber that are below the belt and just simply not acceptable.

Now for his part, the person apparently responsible here, the Member for Hawke says absolutely not correct, I accept interjections are always disorderly and apologise to the Member for being disruptive during her speech. Now I know the rules of defamation are different doing interviews in Parliament House as opposed to what you can say inside the Chamber. But do you believe that Member when he says nothing to see here?

That was intimation from the other side. He certainly apologised for interjecting, which he did on numerous occasions. He also outlined that Liberal men have never worked a hard day in their life. He also outlined how small businesspeople hand their businesses on to their sons and then those sons who aren’t successful end up in Parliament House. It wasn’t just me that he was slurring today in his speech. It’s on the Hansard for small business operators and young men, sons of small business operators across the country. It’s on Hansard what he delivered today in our Parliament, and it was below par.

Well played. Angie Bell is the Member for Moncrieff in the Federal Parliament.


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