Page 1045 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022
MR HANSON: Madam Speaker, again we have been stymied in our ability to do our job in this place. The reality is that this is a simple amendment to standing orders. No-one has raised any objection to it. The Greens seem to have had more positions than are fathomable on what they support or do not support on this. I now have correspondence from the Greens saying that they will support a change—they just want some sort of tick-off from the Clerk—in advance of a review of standing orders. So it is very unclear to me quite what the position is from the Greens, because the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure is saying it is going to be a comprehensive review. I now have correspondence via the opposition whip saying that the Greens pretty much do support this change; they just want to make sure that the Clerk is happy with it, as I understand. And let me assure you—and I have spoken with the Clerk about this—that this is a standing order that has played out in this Assembly for months, if not years, through COVID. It is not a surprise to anyone. It has been discussed in this place six or seven times. We have seen it play out in question time on numerous occasions.
So I have reached a little point of frustration because, first, I do not understand quite what the Greens’ position is, other than, “We support it being debated but we do not support it. It has to go into a big review, but it does not have to be in a review.” What is Mr Braddock’s position on this? Maybe he can seek leave to tell us what his position is. I am growing somewhat frustrated, I must say, because all we are asking for is a simple change that reflects the operations of this place during COVID, that reflects the operations of this parliament and would be then consistent with every other parliament in Australia. No-one has raised with me any objection to this happening, but they will not do it.
I foreshadow that if this does not get up and is not at least debated—I will give you until the next sitting—then we will stop playing ball. If you are not going to support the opposition to do its job, we will stop supporting you to do your job. So good luck asking for leave for anything in this place, because we will not grant it. If you are not going to play ball with us—if you are not going to let us do our job, or at least have a debate in this place about it—why should we play ball? Why should we?—because if you are going to stop us doing our job, we will stop you doing yours and this place will become a mess.
Mr Rattenbury is going “Oh dear, oh dear!” because he used to be a firebrand about this sort of stuff back in the day, but now he is a minister and he wants the least effective questioning on him that he can get. They have changed their tune, haven’t they? They have changed their tune. He was all for Latimer House principles and democracy. They all say that in the public, but when you are a minister under pressure like Ms Davidson is—and often Mr Rattenbury—the last thing you want is effective questioning from the opposition. They have changed their tune. I do not even know what it is because they are so confused about it, but I give you notice, Madam Speaker and members: if you want us to cooperate with you and make this a smooth-running parliament, we will have our debates—that is great; we will have different positions—but if you stop us from doing our job effectively we will do everyhting we can to stop you doing yours effectively, and this will be a far less effective parliament. So the ball is in your court.