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Cory Bernardi Wasn't Making A Sneaky Phone Call During Question Time

Soon after we published this story senator Cory Bernardi informed BuzzFeed News that he was not on his phone in the Senate, as a previous version of this story misstated.

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Independent senator Cory Bernardi looked like he was breaking the Senate's rules by using his mobile phone during Senate Question Time on Wednesday.

Bernardi was caught on video footage of Thursday's Question Time talking on what looked like a mobile phone as minister Matthew Canavan answered a question in front of him, in what seemed to be a violation of Senate rules.

A ruling by the president of the Senate Stephen Parry says senators are allowed to use electronic devices to SMS or email in the Senate chamber, provided they are set to silent and their use "does not disturb proceedings, either visibly or audibly".

But they are not allowed to "make or answer calls on mobile phones".

Each Senate desk is fitted with a white landline phone for politicians to speak to their office while in the chamber.

But Bernardi replied to BuzzFeed News' request for comment soon after this story was published and told us he was in fact listening to the House of Representatives Question Time on the chamber supplied headphones.

CORRECTION

Soon after we published this story senator Cory Bernardi informed Buzzfeed News (quite rightly) that we are idiots and he was listening to the House of Representatives Question Time on the chamber supplied headphones. He was not on his phone, as a previous version of this story misstated.

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at alice.workman@buzzfeed.com.

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