Labor MP granted pair to be with sick child


May 16, 2013 09:40:42

The Federal Opposition has agreed to grant a Labor MP leave to return home to care for her sick child, after initially turning down the request.

Labor backbencher Michelle Rowland requested a pair earlier this week so she could leave Parliament tonight to be with her sick child in Sydney.

She says it was knocked back yesterday with no reason given.

“Quite frankly I think we’ve become a bit mean,” she said.

“When people are ill or they have legitimate reasons for why they need to take leave I would have hoped that a bit of common sense would have prevailed.

“I’m a regular contributor to Parliament. I’m not a slacker. I simply wanted to leave at the suspension.”

This morning Coalition frontbencher Christopher Pyne said the request for a pair simply said Ms Rowland has a sick family member.

But the ABC has a copy of a letter which shows the Coalition whip knew she had a sick child.

Mr Pyne insists the Opposition did not have enough information.

“It could have been a cousin, it could have been a parent, it could have been an uncle,” he said.

“But if we’d known it had been Michelle Rowland’s child we would have given her a pair.

“More importantly we would have said why would you wait until five o’clock Thursday to go home? You need to go home today.”

Earlier the Opposition signalled it was going to make it harder for Labor MPs to be granted a pair when they are unable to vote in Parliament.

The conditions for pairing have already tightened significantly because of the hung Parliament.

Opposition Whip Warren Entsch says Labor also asked for a pair yesterday due to Member for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly being sick, but at the last minute decided it was not needed.

“If they want pairs in the future they are going to have to be able to produce a darn sight more evidence in relation to the validity of what they are trying to apply,” he said.

“People’s obligation in the first instance is to be in this Parliament.”

Mr Entsch has also rejected suggestions Mr Pyne misled Parliament yesterday.

During a debate in Parliament Mr Pyne said Coalition MP Alex Somlyay was ill and had left to go home.

But independent MP Rob Oakeshott later said he had seen Mr Somlyay soon afterwards in the Parliament building.

Mr Entsch says Mr Pyne was given out-of-date information about Mr Somlyay’s whereabouts, and he did not deliberately mislead the House.


First posted

May 16, 2013 07:53:57

Source Article from

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes