Page 1128 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 8 April 2008
At any time in this period, they could have made a referral for an inquiry by our legal affairs committee. Did they do that? No. No, they did not. Did they consult by having a public forum on it? No, they did not. Their consultation process has been exposed to be a sham.
Mr Pratt, through Mrs Burke, tabled in the chamber a letter from me telling Mr Pratt, “When the Government announces its position, I will arrange a briefing for you on the roadside drug testing.” The letter said “when the government announces its position”. What do these folks think I was doing today? I was announcing the government’s position on it.
Mr Speaker, let me tell you for the record that the offer of a briefing contained in that piece of paper is withdrawn. Furthermore, Mr Speaker, let me tell you about the reason he was very lucky he did not get this offer. The last time he requested a briefing, he asked for the briefing and then promptly went out the very next day issuing press releases belting the government’s position on something without having had the briefing. Then he has the temerity to say to me, in a letter which caused this one to be sent to him, that he had got enough information and did not need the briefing. Well, hello. Stand by. Get with the program, guys.
This is nothing short of a squeal on the part of these people. Had they, for example, told the manager of government business the content of the legislation, the manager of government business and I would have had a conversation about it. Whether it would have changed my mind, who knows, but we would have had a conversation about it. We did not.
For Mrs Burke to suggest that we have done anything dishonest is an exercise in hypocrisy. She sits—and has sat—in that government business group. She has been asked that very question by the manager of government business and she has not had the courtesy since day one—or her predecessors, a long line of whippets.
Numerous whippets over there have said nothing to the government. They expect the government to put every single piece of its legislation on the table. That is what the manager of government business does, because he respects the parliamentary process. These folks over here—because of the petulant wish for the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to get a pay rise as the presiding officer of a committee—have decided to withdraw pairs. Petulant behaviour in the sandpit, Mr Speaker, does not wash in a parliamentary process. They are accusing me of doing this in this regard, and I reject that.
What is more important, Mr Speaker, says Mr Pratt—the life of a child in the back of the car? What a hysterical piece of arrant nonsense. There is no-one in this community who would condone any activity that causes that—nobody. If these guys watched any television at all, they would have looked at every time I have gone on TV around Christmas time and said, “You have a responsibility for the children in the car coming at you.” That is what I have said, and I have said it time and time again. I want to make sure.