Page 2469 - Week 06 - Thursday, 23 June 2011

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The Greens and the Labor Party come here and say, “We have agreed.” This is after a couple years of consultations. The Greens and the Labor Party, at the last minute, decide that they will move a bunch of amendments which will, if anything, just complicate the bill rather than improve it. At the last minute the price for getting this through for the Labor Party is to agree to these amendments. They do not actually want to argue the case for each of these amendments. They just want to effectively say, “Look, we have done the deal; so we will just rush it through. You can have your say in bulk on these amendments.” There will be no proper scrutiny, no proper debate. To dump them on us at the last minute I think is a ridiculous way of making laws.

Madam Assistant Speaker, for this reason we cannot support the suspension of standing orders. Each of these amendments has some serious potential ramifications. Each of these amendments individually has serious potential ramifications. Some of these cumbersome definitions and cumbersome regulations are now being imported into the legislation as a whole. For the Assembly as a whole to be given such little opportunity to look at these I think goes completely against the spirit of how we should be doing things in terms of developing quality legislation.

It certainly is not the way you should be putting through a piece of legislation which has such serious implications. Whatever the class warfare is that the Treasurer wants to engage in on this issue, I think we can all agree that, whether you like people in the building industry or whether you hate them, they play a significant role in our economy. This legislation makes a significant difference to their businesses.

Even if you engage in the traditional Labor Party class warfare, you have to acknowledge that this is a significant industry to the ACT. To rush through legislation in this way, to not properly debate it, to put it all in one lump after the Labor Party and the Greens have done a backroom deal over the last day or two—the price of this legislation going through I think is economic vandalism. I think it will come back to bite this Assembly. I think it will come back to bite this government—

Mr Corbell: Point of order, Madam Assistant Speaker.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Just one moment. Mr Corbell?

MR SESELJA: Can you stop the clock, please?


Mr Corbell: The question before the chair, Madam Assistant Speaker, is that the suspension of standing orders be agreed to. We are not debating the bill. We are debating whether or not standing orders should be suspended. Whilst some latitude is always provided in these debates, the fact is that Mr Seselja is again debating the bill.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Corbell. Mr Seselja, I invite you to direct your comments to suspension of standing orders.

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