Page 2475 - Week 06 - Thursday, 23 June 2011

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the government? If we want to make sure that we have openness and accountability—that we can debate these issues, that the opposition can engage in a substantive way, that we can look at each one of these amendments as we need to, as they have been outlined by Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth—let us allow Mr Smyth to speak in detail. Let us hear what he has got to say. To deny that, as the Greens and others have been trying to do—

Mr Corbell: We agreed.

MR HANSON: It is great that the government will actually agree. It is just disappointing that it is going to close down the debate as it stands to actually look at these amendments individually. If this government is talking about openness and accountability, what is their motivation in preventing us from looking at these individually? What is their motivation?

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: The question is that so much of standing orders be suspended as would be required to allow Mr Smyth to speak.

Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (8.05): I thank members for that courtesy. It is very kind of you.

Mr Barr: Make it a good speech then, Brendan. Return the favour.

MR SMYTH: It will be a very good speech, members. All my speeches are in this place. It is interesting that we have 25 amendments before us—amendments that were given to the house earlier today. I note that Ms Hunter said that the Liberal Party was briefed. We were told the intention of their amendments. My understanding is that we were told the intention of the amendments because the amendments were not ready to be handed over. Earlier today we got the amendments. By her own reckoning, Ms Hunter said that these are substantial amendments. To rush 17 substantial amendments to any bill through in one hit is unacceptable.

It is unacceptable, if you claim to be third-party insurance, as the Greens do, that you would do it in this manner. The Greens, the bastion of good process, throw process out of the window when it does not suit their purpose. You have to ask: what is the problem with these amendments that Mrs Hunter does not want the scrutiny? Third-party insurance—good process that they suggest they always are—just flies out of the window when (1) you give briefings of intent, (2) you cannot deliver up your amendments until the day of the debate and (3) you either cannot or just will not make the case to support your case.

What that does is make me worried about what is in these amendments. Until we have a reasonable debate and we have an explanation of each of the amendments, particularly where they are definitions—as Mrs Dunne has pointed out, there are some of these amendments that are a couple of pages long. That is not something that is to be taken lightly. Now you compound that by saying what the Chief Minister has said—that these are relatively complex issues. They are indeed relatively complex

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