Consideration of Urgent Motions

About this Item
SubjectsCrime; Industrial Relations; Police: New South Wales; Work
SpeakersMartin Mr Gerard; Debnam Mr Peter; Speaker
BusinessConsideration of Urgent Motion, Division, Motion
Commentary Procedural debate to determine precedence

Page: 21992

    Federal Government Industrial Relations Legislation

    Mr GERARD MARTIN (Bathurst) [3.40 p.m.]: My motion goes to the heart of the Federal Government's WorkChoice's legislation, and the devastating impact it is having on Australian families means that it is urgent and must have priority. Since the legislation came into force on 27 March there have been many examples of why this matter should be given priority over any other matter. As the Premier said so eloquently during question time, bosses with no compassion have been using this flawed legislation to throw people onto the scrap heap, regardless of whether they have been employees for 20 years or 20 minutes. Opposition members should also state their views on the New South Wales Government's High Court challenge. Mr Back-flip from Vaucluse, who sat on the fence while we were protecting the Crown employees of this State, said that he would give those powers to John Howard—although this is hypothetical, of course—if ever the Coalition were to stumble into government.

    Mr Andrew Fraser: What about the timber workers?

    Mr GERARD MARTIN: The honourable member for Coffs Harbour should attend his anger management courses. He has not finished; he still has a long way to go. That is why this matter is urgent and should have priority.

    Police Numbers

    Mr PETER DEBNAM (Vaucluse—Leader of the Opposition) [3.41 p.m.]: The House has heard yet again from the biggest shareholder in Telstra. I am not quite sure what he was talking about in his rambling contribution, but it is evident that people are dying in the streets because of this Government's incompetence. That is urgent, not the Labor Party playing games with Federal issues.

    Mr Steve Whan: It is a State issue.

    Mr PETER DEBNAM: The State Labor Government should actually do its job in New South Wales. The honourable member for Monaro finally says that it is a State issue.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member for Heffron will come to order.

    Mr PETER DEBNAM: It is important to talk about why people are dying on the streets in this State, why there is blood in the streets in this State, and why south-west Sydney is a war zone. As one journalist said, Why is south-west Sydney a free-fire zone? That is the urgent issue. This matter is urgent because for three years the Labor Government has ignored it and played games.

    Ms Linda Burney: What a load of rubbish! You know that gun crime has gone down.

    Mr PETER DEBNAM: The honourable member for Canterbury has just betrayed her community.

    Mr Alan Ashton: Point of order: Mr Speaker, in view of the ruling you gave that debate should proceed on the basis of establishing priority, you might allow passing reference but already the Leader of the Opposition is speaking to the substantive issue.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! I will hear further from the Leader of the Opposition before ruling on the point of order.
    Mr PETER DEBNAM: For three years I have been talking about gun crime in New South Wales. On 28 May 2003 I mentioned the article in that journal of record, the Daily Telegraph, by Lilian Saleh which reported that there is a shooting in Sydney every second day. After May 2003 we had five months of abuse from the former Premier, from the pretend police Minister, John Watkins, and from the Commissioner of Police. But after five months they finally established Task Force Gain. How many officers did they put into it three years ago? They put 170 officers.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member for Drummoyne will come to order.

    Mr PETER DEBNAM: After five months of denying the problem, letting people die in the streets in south-west Sydney, they finally put 170 officers into Task Force Gain.

    Mr Alan Ashton: Point of order: I refer to your previous ruling in which you allowed the Leader of the Opposition further time to show urgency. In the two minutes since then all we have heard is debate about the substantive motion. I ask you to reflect on your decision.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! I draw the attention of the Leader of the Opposition to the ruling I gave prior to the start of this debate. Within the confines of the ruling and complying with the standing order, he must show reasons why his motion should have priority over the motion of the honourable member for Bathurst.

    Mr PETER DEBNAM: Nothing is more urgent than stopping the war zone in south-west Sydney. It is an issue that I have raised with the Government for three years, yet it has done nothing. It established Task Force Gain, put 170 officers in it, then within a year or so reduced the task force to 57 officers.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! Government member will cease calling out.

    Mr PETER DEBNAM: That is why the matter is urgent. At the same time that the Government established Task Force Gain, it reduced police numbers in this State. It has now reduced them by 600, and for a decade it has continued this softly-softly, politically correct policing—this media-driven policing—which has allowed the drug gangs to take over. That is why people are dying in the streets.

    Mr Steve Whan: Point of order: The Leader of the Opposition is casting aspersions on the police officers in this State in suggesting a softly-softly approach.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order. The honourable member for Monaro cannot debate the issue raised by the Leader of the Opposition. Again I remind the Leader of the Opposition that he must show why his notice of motion should have priority over the motion of the honourable member for Bathurst.

    Mr PETER DEBNAM: It is urgent because Middle Eastern crime has been totally out of control in this State for a number of years, certainly for the past three years. That is why we had the Cronulla revenge attacks and the attacks on Maroubra, and that is why the Government has failed to lock up and arrest about 180 revenge attackers. That is why people are dying in the streets of Granville now. [Time expired.]

    Question—That the motion for urgent consideration of the honourable member for Bathurst be proceeded with—put.

    The House divided.

    Ayes, 54
            Ms Allan
            Mr Amery
            Ms Andrews
            Mr Bartlett
            Ms Beamer
            Mr Black
            Mr Brown
            Ms Burney
            Miss Burton
            Mr Campbell
            Mr Chaytor
            Mr Collier
            Mr Corrigan
            Mr Crittenden
            Mr Daley
            Ms D'Amore
            Mr Debus
            Mrs Fardell
            Ms Gadiel
            Mr Gaudry
            Mr Gibson
            Mr Greene
            Ms Hay
            Mr Hickey
            Mr Hunter
            Ms Judge
            Ms Keneally
            Mr Lynch
            Mr McBride
            Mr McLeay
            Mr McTaggart
            Ms Meagher
            Ms Megarrity
            Mr Mills
            Mr Morris
            Mr Newell
            Ms Nori
            Mr Orkopoulos
            Mrs Paluzzano
            Mr Pearce
            Mrs Perry
            Mr Price
            Ms Saliba
            Mr Sartor
            Mr Shearan
            Mr Stewart
            Ms Tebbutt
            Mr Tripodi
            Mr Watkins
            Mr West
            Mr Whan
            Mr Yeadon

            Mr Ashton
            Mr Martin

    Noes, 35
            Mr Aplin
            Mr Armstrong
            Mr Barr
            Ms Berejiklian
            Mr Cansdell
            Mr Constance
            Mr Debnam
            Mr Draper
            Mr Fraser
            Mrs Hancock
            Mr Hartcher
            Mr Hazzard
            Ms Hodgkinson
            Mrs Hopwood
            Mr Humpherson
            Mr Kerr
            Mr Merton
            Ms Moore
            Mr Oakeshott
            Mr O'Farrell
            Mr Page
            Mr Piccoli
            Mr Pringle
            Mr Richardson
            Mr Roberts
            Ms Seaton
            Mrs Skinner
            Mr Slack-Smith
            Mr Souris
            Mr Tink
            Mr Torbay
            Mr J. H. Turner
            Mr R. W. Turner
            Mr George
            Mr Maguire
    Question resolved in the affirmative.