Senator FIFIELD (Victoria) (3.45 p.m.)-I seek leave to make a personal explanation.
Senator FIFIELD-I have been most grievously misrepresented. I was flicking the other day through a terrific publication by the Australian Electoral Commission, the 2007 Electoral Pocketbook, which contains the results of the 2007 election. I was flicking through the House of Representatives results and I was reliving what was, from our point of view, the horror of 2007. In an effort to lift my spirits, to feel a little better, I turned to the Senate results, which were much more agreeable. I looked at the Victorian Senate results and saw Senator Collins elected in the No. 1 position-congratulations to her. I cast my eye down and saw the terrific results of Senator Kroger and Senator Ryan. Then I cast my eye up the page to look at my own election, for which I was very grateful and which I was very pleased to see recorded, but to my absolute horror I saw after my name the letters ‘ALP’. The document has me listed as a member of the Australian Labor Party. I also checked the AEC website, which compounded the error by also listing me as a member of the Australian Labor Party.
Mr Deputy President, you can imagine my distress. I was inconsolable at this misrepresentation. I wish to assure the Senate that I have not had a change of heart, that I have not sought to change political allegiance. I know senators opposite are quite fond of me and would not mind me going across to that side of the chamber. Indeed, I am often tempted to go across to that side of the chamber, particularly when Senator Conroy is answering questions. He does need a little bit of assistance. But I am resisting that temptation, tough as it is!
I am pleased to say that the Electoral Commission have been in contact and they have apologised for this gross misrepresentation. They will be issuing an erratum to the 2007 pocketbook and they will also be changing the AEC website today. I thought the Senate might appreciate that reassurance that I will be remaining on this side of the chamber.