Barry’s badge back down welcome

MEDIA RELEASE – 17 October 2012

NSW Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham today welcomed Premier Barry O’Farrell’s announcement that Members of Parliament should be allowed to wear Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander flag badges on their lapels in the parliamentary chamber. 

Yesterday, Government Whip in the Legislative Council, The Hon. Peter Phelps, called a point of order claiming the Aboriginal Flag badge being worn by Jeremy Buckingham MLC was too large and should either be removed or the member removed from the chamber.  Mr Buckingham refused to remove the badge.

Legislative Council President, Don Harwin later ruled that the Aboriginal flag badge at 25mm wide was larger than the 20mm official badge and therefore must be removed.

“I welcome the Premier’s announcement that MPs will be allowed to wear the Aboriginal flag on their lapel, but the rules must change immediately,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“MPs wear badges of varying sizes to support all sorts of good causes.  It is very unfortunate that the Government Whip chose to pick on an Aboriginal Flag badge and it carries some unwelcome undertones.

“I will continue to wear the badge with pride, but right now I cannot enter the chamber wearing the badge without breaching of the Presidents ruling.

“The rules need to change so that MPs can enter the chamber wearing an Aboriginal flag.”

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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