This is nearly as old as the previous post, but I still had to share it 🙂

Mr CLARE (2.21 p.m.)—My question is to the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations. Would the minister detail the waste and excessive promotional material associated with previous government policies? What steps are being taken to recycle that material?

Ms GILLARD—Yesterday the Prime Minister and I sought to ensure the destruction of the remaining Work Choices propaganda of the Howard-Costello government. We arranged for the recycling of 436,000 Work Choices booklets. We made sure that they were taken off to the recyclers so that they could be turned into things more useful—things like scribble paper for children. There were some suggestions from the media about other uses that these paper products could be put to, but I will not go there. But we did ensure that these booklets would be recycled. Of course, this was part of the $121 million propaganda blitz of the Howard-Costello government to try and sell its grossly unfair Work Choices laws, which stripped basic working conditions away from Australian families. We know that even that government thought it was best to start shredding these booklets, because 3½ million of them were in fact sent off to the recyclers before the election. The waste of taxpayers’ money was just amazing.

I have to say that I allowed myself to believe yesterday that the Prime Minister and I had brought an end to the scourge of Work Choices propaganda in this country, just as we are committed to bringing an end to the scourge of Work Choices itself. I had allowed myself to believe yesterday that we had achieved that goal, but overnight I have discovered more. Whilst the Four Corners program was exhibiting Liberal rats in the ranks, I found 100,000 Work Choices propaganda mousepads lying around from the days of the Howard-Costello government. I am going to ask the House to help me with a very difficult issue here, which is this: one can easily recycle booklets; it is less clear what one can do to recycle mousepads. What I am committed to doing—

Mr Tuckey—Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. My point of order is this: to assist her in this matter, she can send them out with her free computers.

The SPEAKER—The member for O’Connor knows that that was not a point of order. A point of order is not an invitation for competing in comedy hour with the chair.

Ms GILLARD—Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can I reassure you that it is not my intention to scare small children through that distribution of these mousepads. They would obviously be very worried about their parents’ working conditions if this turned up at their school. I do have a dilemma, which is what to do with these 100,000 mousepads. It is my intention to send them to the supporters of Work Choices, so there are 65 on their way to the opposition members in the House of Representatives and there are 38 on their way to the opposition senators. Now I have 99,897 left and I cannot find another Work Choices supporter to send them to. If anybody has any suggestions about what to do with the remainder of the 100,000 mousepads, I would be very grateful to receive them. In sending these mousepads to the opposition today, I do not know if I have made an error, because I watched the press conference of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition at lunchtime today.

Mr Hockey—Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Yesterday you raised the issue of using props in the chamber. Again the Deputy Prime Minister is using props. Unless she wants to play second row, I would ask her to put the props away.