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Improper Imputations in a Brief Explanation Prior to a Question Without Notice

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Leader of the Opposition) (14:17): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment regarding regional tourism.

Leave granted.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: Yesterday, the minister was asked a question about regional tourism organisation funding and the regional consumer collaborative marketing fund program. In his initial response to this chamber to which he is responsible, the minister let the cat out of the bag by giving an unusually honest answer, and I quote, that ‘those two matters are not being continued with.’ That is what the minister told the chamber: ‘those two matters are not being continued with.’ The minister then tried to weasel out of it by making an embarrassing personal explanation late in the day when he said, and I quote:

…both the regional tourism organisation funding and the regional collaborative marketing fund programs will remain unchanged for the current financial year.

It seems a pretty inescapable conclusion that either the minister is totally out of his depth, as most suspect, or he is deliberately fudging what he says to this chamber at different times of the day. The minister did not clarify what will happen to this funding after the 2019-20 financial year. My question to the minister is a simple one: what will happen to the regional tourism organisation funding and the regional consumer collaborative marketing fund program after the 2019-20 financial year?

[…]

The PRESIDENT: Minister. Leader of the Opposition, before I go on to give the Hon. Ms Scriven the call, in your brief explanation you were getting very close if not making improper imputations against the minister. I ask you to restrain yourself going forward. Otherwise, I will ask you to withdraw and apologise.

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