Australian parliament bans team scarves

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The Independent Online

Despite the "mate" setback, David Hawker, parliament's speaker, would not tolerate a government backbencher flaunting her team's scarf in session, telling her it was "undignified".

With the country gripped by Australian rules football fever as the season approaches its climax, Trish Draper, the MP for Makin in South Australia, turned up for question time wearing the Adelaide Crows scarf.

Mr Hawker was not amused and told her it violated the dress code. "I remind the member for Makin that it is not expected that she wear that scarf, she might remove it."

The chief opposition whip, Roger Price, questioned whether there may be some leniency in the application of the rules for his home team: "Would it be all right if I wore my Parramatta colours?" His request received a similarly curt response.

The Crows play the West Coast Eagles on Saturday for a place in the Australian Football League grand final against either St Kilda or the Sydney Swans on 24 September.

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