Page 587 - Week 02 - Thursday, 6 March 2008

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MR SPEAKER: Reinforcement.

MR CORBELL: For all those reasons, the government does not support this last-minute, disorganised shambles of amendment. The Liberal Party need to explain why, in the course of the inquiry and in the course of consultation that occurred amongst all members about what the standing orders should be in this place, they never took the opportunity to introduce these amendments as proposals at an earlier time.

The government welcome the standing committee’s report; we support its recommendations in full; and we are very supportive of the motion that they be introduced as the first and most significant reform of our standing orders since self-government. It is a great disappointment to us that at one minute to midnight the Liberal Party seek to be wreckers—and the shambles that they are in, trying to derail the whole process. It is just not good enough; the government will not support those amendments.

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (11.13): That is a bit of a disappointing start to what was going to be quite a historic debate today in this chamber. Mr Speaker, you would be one who would be very much welcoming of this debate. It was pleasing to see that the government enforced a lot of the amendments put forward by the opposition. Contrary to belief by the government people—I do not know how many if we want to get down to numbers, who put in what and how many. It has got rather petty. Mr Corbell’s ridiculous diatribe opened this debate in a rather sad way. We will leave that there.

Mrs Dunne’s amendments have been circulated this morning. It is a pity that it would appear that the government, at the 11th hour, can change their minds on a whole raft of things but we cannot work on an ongoing basis to say, “Well, hang on a minute; we have gone back to it. We see there needs to be refinement.” This is a big bill. It is a monumental change. No significant changes have been made to this bill since 1989.

Ms Gallagher: It is not a bill.

Mr Corbell: It is not a bill. It is not an act of the Assembly.

MRS BURKE: All right, you smarties over there. The debate that we have this morning is about standing orders that we operate under in this place. If we want to get to that, Mr Corbell, if we want to get to your point of order, if you are making one, get to your feet. We were talking about scrutiny. That is what Mrs Dunne’s amendments propose to deal with. She proposes more scrutiny. You want less. That is a bit of a disappointment in itself.

I will make some brief comments. I have not been on the committee for the majority of this debate but I am more than happy to look at what the committee has been able to achieve today, and that is to have a much more streamlined approach to the standing orders that we all operate and work under in this place.

The proposed standing orders have been decided upon to streamline and simplify. On page 61 of volume 2, there is reference to things like terms of language—plain English, for example—terminology, grammatical changes, clarifications of meanings, points of order, syntax et cetera. There are a lot of positive moves. I was talking to the

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