Page 485 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 8 March 2011

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Using the same analogy and the same argument, of course, if the Liberal Party do not support or vote for my motion after their amendment is lost, does that mean that they do not think section 35 should be repealed? Does that mean that they support the status quo? Does that mean that the same logic applies to the vote that they would take or make if they do not support the motion today? A vote against my motion today is a vote which says, “Yes, we support section 35. We believe it should be maintained. We believe an individual minister of the federal parliament has the right to overturn the democratic will of the people of the ACT.”

So how are you going to vote on the motion? Are you going to support the motion after your amendment is lost, or are you going to stand up and say, “Actually, we support the status quo. We believe that section 35 is a good provision. We believe that it is doing its job”? Let us see how they vote.

I must say that I was wondering why the Liberal Party have adopted this amazing attitude of opposition, of gutlessness. It is the Gary Humphries factor, I think. Gary has been on the phone saying, “Guys, you could embarrass me here because you know when I crossed the floor last time it really was a stunt and I was under no threat, but now I am. I am now on the frontbench. I can’t cross the floor any more. Actually, my job is more important than my principles.” I was looking for an explanation and it is the only one that has a ring of authenticity about it. Gary has been on the phone saying, “Guys, for goodness sake don’t embarrass me today. Give me an escape hatch. Don’t force me to cross the floor again because I can’t do it again. It was easy last time. All of a sudden it’s not so easy.”

Question put:

That Mr Seselja’s amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted–

Ayes 5

Noes 10

Mr Coe

Mr Smyth

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Dunne

Ms Bresnan

Ms Hunter

Mr Hanson

Ms Burch

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Seselja

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Question so resolved in the negative.

Amendment negatived.

Question put:

That Mr Stanhope’s motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted–

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