Page 1867 - Week 06 - Thursday, 5 May 2005

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18 per cent of people in this city are now members of the trade union movement. Let us move on. You know, the Tolpuddle Martyrs case is behind us. Things have moved on—people speak up for themselves.

Let us make our primary objective economic growth in Canberra. If we can get economic growth here on a strong footing, we will avoid these massive budget deficits that are being imposed on us because we will have productive income and taxation; we will be able to support the needs of those who are seriously disadvantaged; and we will be able to offer people good government and an attractive environment.

We are competing for business. Every government in this country is competing for business, as are overseas markets. We must have the edge but instead we drag our feet. We trek along to these meetings with Labor ministers around the country, and we are the last to move.

We are the last to move on the business tax reform agenda but with industrial relations—I will give the government credit for that—they are at the forefront with imposts on business. Their colleagues in the other states talk to me, even, and shake their heads about the punitive measures constantly advanced in this territory.

This is a regrettable measure but I know the government’s numbers will ensure its successful passage. In concluding, I would ask that the business impact statement, which I hope was done in relation to this legislation, be tabled. I will certainly be keen to hear what the minister has to say with regard to the projected cost impacts on business.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.30 to 2.30 pm.

Questions on notice

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Yesterday, at the conclusion of question time, Mrs Dunne sought to move a motion under standing order 118A in relation to an explanation as to the delay of an answer to question No 229, which had not been answered within 30 days, as required by the standing orders. At the time I ruled that Mr Corbell had made an explanation and therefore Mrs Dunne was not able to move a motion that Mr Corbell had not given an explanation pursuant to standing order 118A (c) although, at the time, in the context of that ruling, it would have been open to Mrs Dunne to move a motion pursuant to standing order 118A (b).

As I said in the house this morning, I have reviewed uncorrected proof Hansard and I have had a look at similar instances in the Senate—although not strictly related to this particular point, they are useful in consideration of the matter—and of course earlier debates in this place. As a result, I have reviewed my ruling of yesterday. A closer examination of standing order 118 suggests that ministers need to give some indication as to why an answer was delayed, otherwise members will have access to standing order 118A (c). I will rule that way in future.

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