The Hon. Peter Phelps, Government Whip in the NSW Legislative Council called a point of order on Jeremy Buckingham for wearing an Aboriginal badge on his lapel.
Phelps argued that the badge was too large and breached the standing orders. He requested that Jeremy Buckingham either remove the badge or be removed from the parliamentary chamber.
Phelps ignored the fact that many MPs wear lapel badges and ribbons.
President of the Legislative Council, The Hon. Don Harwin reserved his ruling for a few hours then ruled that the badge was indeed out of order as it is 25mm wide. The official badge of the Legislative Council is 20mm wide and is apparently the maximum size.
Jeremy Buckingham believes this is a disgrace and parliamentarians should be allowed to wear the Aboriginal flag in parliament. He has refused to remove the badge.
Questioned on twitter about the ruling, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said:
@bazarazzi Hi @barryofarrell. Why did the President of NSW LC rule that @greensjeremy can’t wear an Aboriginal flag pin?pic.twitter.com/UiGHwPpC #nswpol
Barry O’Farrell @barryofarrell I don’t think that. I’m not sure if LC has rules on such things, but if so they need changing.