Business of the House

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SpeakersWhelan Mr Paul; Speaker; Tink Mr Andrew
BusinessBusiness of the House

Page: 6826

    Motion of Censure: Suspension of Standing and Sessional Orders

    Mr WHELAN (Strathfield—Parliamentary Secretary) [3.05 p.m.]: I move:
        That standing and sessional orders be suspended to allow Dr Refshauge unlimited time to conclude his speech.
    It is important that the House acknowledge the right of a member to be heard. While the Deputy Premier was addressing the Chamber the honourable member for Coffs Harbour asked him to move a substantive motion. In effect, the Opposition tried to gag the Deputy Premier putting his case. No-one on this side of the Chamber—

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! It seems that a number of members have not realised that the Chair has asked for order in the Chamber. The honourable member for Coffs Harbour would not accede to that request, and members who continue to behave in the way he did will follow him from the Chamber. I now place all members on three calls to order.

    Mr WHELAN: No-one interrupted the honourable member for Coffs Harbour during the five minutes he spoke to prove to the House that he should stay. According to the standing orders, the Deputy Premier can speak for 15 minutes. However, he has had less than five minutes to substantiate a serious issue, that is, that the honourable member for Pittwater should be censured by the House.

    Mrs Chikarovski: Point of order: I ask you to check with the Clerk to confirm that the Deputy Premier in fact finished at 8.03.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order.

    Mr WHELAN: We know that the honourable member for Lane Cove is absolutely brilliant at both keeping time and counting the numbers, but her knowledge of the standing orders is somewhat dim.

    Mrs Chikarovski: Point of order: I understand that the Clerk has just confirmed to you that the Deputy Premier had 8.03 minutes.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order.

    Mr WHELAN: It may well be that the Deputy Premier's speech was not completed at 8.03. He might have eight minutes and two seconds or five minutes. The fact is that he has no time left. In accordance with the standing orders the Deputy Premier has 15 minutes. He is entitled to conclude his address, and that is the text of my motion. I urge all honourable members to support it.

    Mr Armstrong: Point of order: There is precedent for what has happened this afternoon. When a member decides not to leave the Chamber when instructed to by the Chair, he or she is allowed five minutes of uninterrupted speech. Appropriately, when a member is addressing this House within a time frame and that time is consumed by another process under the standing orders, his time expires.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! What is your point of order?

    Mr Armstrong: My point of order is simply that there is no argument to support the proposal that the Deputy Premier has any time left.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order.

    Mr TINK (Epping) [3.10 p.m.]: The honourable member for Strathfield is a longstanding member of the Labor Party and a legendary publican. One would think that he of all people would know what is meant by the expression "It's time." It is time the Deputy Premier finished—his time is up. It is time to hear from the Leader of the Opposition, who will demonstrate what a load of absolute defamatory, mudslinging garbage the Deputy Premier has been on about. The Deputy Premier finished, there was another speech and then a few people who are muckraking came up with more defamatory ideas, so they decided to give the Deputy Premier another five minutes. That would be two bites at the cherry. He finished the first time having said nothing but utter garbage. In his private moments the reasonably decent individual I used to know him to be would be ashamed.

    One left-winger after another has prostituted himself to the majority faction to get some brownie points by defaming a member on this side of the House. There is no substance to this motion whatever. The Deputy Premier does not put the same standards on his ministerial colleagues. He will sit mute in Cabinet and in Parliament without putting anything to Mr Obeid. It does not matter if these standards do not apply to him. If there is any marginal advantage to be gained, he will take it like a rat up a drain pipe.

    Mr Whelan: Point of order: As the newest member of the Left, I advise the House that it is debating whether the Deputy Premier's time should be extended—nothing else.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order.

    Mr TINK: The point is that the Deputy Premier's time expired. The standing orders are quite clear—he had 15 minutes. The 15 minutes have expired. That is the end of the matter. Now is the time for the Leader of the Opposition to defend himself against a series of scurrilous and unfounded attacks. It is time for the Leader of the Opposition to defend himself against what are baseless and unsubstantiated allegations, rumours and mistruths that do the Deputy Premier no good at all. He knows the real position, which is not what he has been saying under cover of parliamentary privilege. For him to have another five minutes will not improve the situation. Nothing of any consequence will be revealed, only more smears and innuendo. The time of the House should be used by the Leader of the Opposition putting these matters right.

    Question—That the motion be agreed to—put.

    The House divided.
    Ayes, 53
    Ms Allan
    Mr Amery
    Ms Andrews
    Mr Aquilina
    Mr Ashton
    Mr Bartlett
    Ms Beamer
    Mr Black
    Mr Brown
    Miss Burton
    Mr Campbell
    Mr Carr
    Mr Collier
    Mr Crittenden
    Mr Debus
    Mr Face
    Mr Gaudry
    Mr Gibson
    Mr Greene
    Mrs Grusovin
    Ms Harrison
    Mr Hickey
    Mr Hunter
    Mr Iemma
    Mr Knowles
    Mrs Lo Po'
    Mr Lynch
    Mr Markham
    Mr Martin
    Mr McManus
    Ms Meagher
    Ms Megarrity
    Mr Mills
    Mr Moss
    Mr Newell
    Ms Nori
    Mr Orkopoulos
    Mr E. T. Page
    Mrs Perry
    Mr Price
    Dr Refshauge
    Ms Saliba
    Mr Scully
    Mr W. D. Smith
    Mr Stewart
    Mr Tripodi
    Mr Watkins
    Mr West
    Mr Whelan
    Mr Woods
    Mr Yeadon
    Mr Anderson
    Mr Thompson

    Noes, 32
    Mr Armstrong
    Mr Brogden
    Mrs Chikarovski
    Mr Collins
    Mr Cull
    Mr Debnam
    Mr Glachan
    Mr Hartcher
    Mr Hazzard
    Ms Hodgkinson
    Mrs Hopwood
    Mr Humpherson
    Dr Kernohan
    Mr Kerr
    Mr Maguire
    Mr Merton
    Mr O'Farrell
    Mr D. L. Page
    Mr Piccoli
    Mr Richardson
    Mr Rozzoli
    Ms Seaton
    Mrs Skinner
    Mr Slack-Smith
    Mr Souris
    Mr Stoner
    Mr Tink
    Mr J. H. Turner
    Mr R. W. Turner
    Mr Webb
    Mr George
    Mr R. H. L. Smith
    Question resolved in the affirmative.

    Motion agreed to.