Page 273 - Week 01 - Thursday, 29 November 2012
The government is proposing to suspend standing order 136 in relation to the Road Transport (Third-Party Insurance) Amendment Bill. This is the same-question rule and relates to an identified error in the Road Transport (Third-Party Insurance) Bill as a result of amendments made by the Assembly in the last term of the Assembly, and to put the question beyond doubt standing order 136 should be suspended.
MR HANSON (Molonglo) (11.12): I rise to speak about the Health (National Health Funding Pool and Administration) Bill 2012, which has now been pulled and is not going to be debated today. I would like to seek further explanation. Maybe the health minister can provide that. But we have gone through a process now where this bill was tabled in the last Assembly, I received a briefing on that on 8 August and we were told that this was desperately urgent, that it needed to be done to conform with what had been agreed to at COAG and that if it was not agreed to in a great rush we would not be getting money through the reforms. Then we were due to be debating it in the last Assembly and it just never happened.
We have now found ourselves back at this new Assembly and again we are told it is massively urgent. We get told that it is going to be put on for debate and then again it gets pulled. Certainly we were advised—and I cannot recall the details of the briefing notes because I do not have them in front of me—that if this does not get debated we do not get the money and that we have got to get it done soon. It has now been pulled twice. So the questions I have are: why on earth is it that we keep bringing this on and taking it off? What on earth is going on within the Health Directorate to cause that? It does not give me confidence that this is a piece of legislation that has been dealt with well within the directorate.
Secondly, what is the cut-off date that this has got to be agreed to by this Assembly to ensure that we get the funding? I do not want to be agreeing essentially to the minister not bringing it on today if the consequence of that is that we do not get the money that we were due to get through these reforms. I would seek perhaps that the minister get up and give a full explanation of what is going on within her department, what is going on with this piece of legislation and what are the consequences of not having this piece of legislation agreed to by the Assembly today.
MR SESELJA (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (11.14): Madam Speaker, I—
Ms Gallagher: We are dealing with suspension of standing orders.
MR SESELJA: We are dealing with suspension of standing orders, and the reason for it is the urgency of these bills, so it is a very legitimate thing for Mr Hanson to ask the question, “Are we being told the truth about urgency or are we being spun a line?” because we have been told several times it is urgent or we would lose funding and now we are told that it is not urgent. If that is the case with the health bill, who knows with the other two bills we are being asked to suspend, in terms of the information that is being given? So it is perfectly legitimate for Mr Hanson to ask, and for the parliament, before we vote on this, to get an explanation for the changing nature of