A bitter rift between House of Assembly Speaker Sue Hickey and Greens leader Cassy O’Connor seems to have healed.
The pair fell out last week when Ms O’Connor stormed out of Parliament when Ms Hickey would not allow her to defend herself over what she said was an allegation of racism by Labor member Ella Haddad.
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Ms Hickey said she felt “extremely uncomfortable” with what Ms O’Connor was saying “but more so with the way she was saying it”.
But Ms Hickey has apologised to Ms O’Connor during an adjournment debate in Parliament.
“Whilst the role of the Speaker is to maintain order in the House, I have since been informed that convention dictates that the Speaker must not intervene in debate,” Ms Hickey said.
“For this grievance, I apologise to Ms O’Connor for what she perceives as bias.
“As I stated in my last address, that having been in this house for just over two years, I am continuing to learn the practical application of these standing orders in all situations.
“I re-commit to the house that I will ensure the foundations of the Westminster Parliament are upheld and that individual members can rightly contribute in line with the rules and forms of the house.
“I reiterate that I wish to see this house to be a safe workplace with the members showing relevant respect to each other, and more orderly behaviour as the public expect of us all, as role models.”
Ms O’Connor said she was pleased with Ms Hickey’s apology but was critical of Ms Haddad for not apologising.
“It was pleasing to see Madam Speaker come into the house and apologise for her attempt to censor me when I was talking about the Chinese Government’s human rights abuses and political interference,” she said.
“I think that it’s time now to move on from my tensions with the Speaker over her attempt to censor me.
“Of course, Ms Haddad hasn’t had the the courage or the insight to apologise. But that’s a matter for another day.
“I just won’t be letting Ms Haddad forget her egregious slur and I will not be silenced on the abuses of the Chinese government, its human rights abuses and its political interference in places like Tasmania.”