Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 2592 ..
MR KAINE (continuing):
and criticise others. Mr Moore said that Mr Osborne was only doing this as part of some process to get together the numbers. How many times in the last 10 years have we seen Mr Moore do just that - manipulate, use the system, use the standing orders, anything at all, to get the numbers?
Mr Moore: You have never seen me do anything like this.
MR KAINE: Yes, we have, Mr Moore, and we can get some details if you want them. When people get to their feet and object to the suspension of standing orders because there is some manipulation of the process, I think the people who throw rocks should not live in glass houses. Mr Speaker, I think the situation is pretty straightforward. There is a Bill that has been almost universally rejected as having some aspects to it that people find objectionable for one reason or another. The process that Mr Osborne is seeking to go through gets that Bill off the agenda. What is the problem?
Mr Berry: A big problem. I will explain it to you.
MR KAINE: There may well be a consequential problem, Mr Berry, but that is one that the place can deal with when it comes. They are two separate matters.
Mr Berry: If you do not mind being tricked, that is fine.
MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Berry!
MR KAINE: Mr Berry has been known to use the standing orders in the past too, Mr Speaker. In fact, Mr Berry, after Mr Moore, is probably the second-best expert at doing it in this place, so I do not understand this strange holier-than-thou attitude that suddenly emerged that you may not use the standing orders of this place to achieve your objective. That is what the standing orders are there for. There is provision for the suspension of standing orders so that certain things can be done. We do it time and time again, but suddenly this morning it is not an acceptable process.
I have some difficulty with Mr Osborne's original Bill and I also have some difficulty with the Bill which will replace it, but I think there is a due process to get one off the agenda and the other one on so that the flaws and defects of the second Bill can be dealt with on their merits and in due course. I would suggest that we curtail the one-hour debate that the Assembly has just approved on this matter, vote on it, suspend the standing orders, and get on with the business for which we are here.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (11.07): Mr Speaker, members of the Liberal Party will certainly support the suspension of standing orders. Members need to be thinking about the consistency they bring to this debate. I assume that members who have opposed the suspension of standing orders are concerned at the idea of withdrawing the present Bill and substituting a new Bill, but it was only a few weeks ago that we had a motion from the Labor Party urging Mr Osborne to withdraw his Bill. What they are getting today is just that. They are getting today the withdrawal of the Bill which they consider obnoxious - - -