Page 277 - Week 01 - Thursday, 29 November 2012

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The Assembly voted—

Ayes 9

Noes 8

Mr Coe

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Barr

Ms Gallagher

Mr Doszpot

Mr Seselja

Ms Berry

Mr Gentleman

Mrs Dunne

Mr Smyth

Dr Bourke

Ms Porter

Mr Hanson

Mr Wall

Ms Burch

Mrs Jones

Mr Corbell

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

MADAM SPEAKER: I call Mr Hanson to make a statement.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (11.26): There are a number of matters to be discussed here. Firstly, I would like to talk to the matter of urgency. It is unusual in this place that the opposition be put in the position where it is being asked to consider legislation in a period of a day or two. I certainly know that in the case of the two bills that we are going to consider today, there is consultation that has not occurred because of the urgency requirement.

So when the government asked us to deal with the matter urgently, there are consequences to that. There will be less engagement with the community. There will be less time to consider. It puts at risk the probity with which we can deal with those matters. So it is an important matter and it should be treated judiciously by the government. There should be an important reason why we are actually dealing with the matter urgently. It is not trivial. It has some impact.

In this case, the impact explained to the opposition, and it is contained in the bill, is the need to set up this arrangement so that we can get the funding from the federal government. I will read from my notes that I put together: “This funding pool is required to receive federal funding for hospital services under nation health and hospital reforms. This establishes the pool, an administrator of the pool, a state managed fund and miscellaneous provisions such as performance audit.”

So essentially this legislation that we were going to be debating, as it was put to me and as I understand it, is required to establish these mechanisms so that we can receive the funding. That was the rationale that was put together by the government. That is why we need to debate it urgently, because if there is another reason to debate it urgently, that has not been put to me. Certainly, the minister was unable today to articulate a reason why it was urgent.

The reason it is urgent is so we can start getting the money. It would appear that the government is now saying that it does not matter. It is not urgent. We can do this in February. So we have a situation where we were asked to do it urgently in the last Assembly and that did not happen. We were asked to do it urgently this week and that did not happen. Now the minister is saying it is not urgent at all; we can worry about it in February.

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