Business of the House



About this Item
SpeakersCampbell Mr David; O'Farrell Mr Barry
BusinessSuspension of Orders, Motion


    BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Page: 4674


    Routine of Business: Suspension of Standing and Sessional Orders

    Mr DAVID CAMPBELL (Keira—Minister for Water Utilities, Minister for Small Business, Minister for Regional Development, and Minister for the Illawarra) [5.15 p.m.]: I move:

    That standing and sessional orders be suspended:

    (1) at this or any subsequent sitting, to permit consideration of Legislative Council amendments between items of business;

    (2) at this sitting,

    (a) from the commencement of private members' statements, until the rising of the House, no divisions or quorums be called;

    (b) from 7.30 p.m., valedictory speeches be made, at the conclusion of which the House adjourn without motion moved until 10.00 a.m. on Thursday 23 November 2006.
        (3) on Thursday 23 November 2006,

    (a) to vary the routine of business to not call on General Business;

    (b) at 10.00 a.m., the House take note of Christmas felicitations;

    (c) at 11.10 a.m., the business before the House be interrupted and set down as an order of the day for a later hour and the House shall proceed to Government House for the presentation of the Address- in-Reply; and

    (d) upon the House's return from Government House, valedictory speeches be made.

    Mr BARRY O'FARRELL (Ku-ring-gai—Deputy Leader of the Opposition) [5.18 p.m.]: The Coalition has agreed with the Leader of the House for two days, but we must draw the line here. We do so for a number of reasons. First, we understood that the agreement for this evening was not simply that honourable members make valedictories speeches, but that the Address-in-Reply debate would continue. It is upon that basis that we planned to have speakers. We are able to discipline our speakers to ensure that whatever else is happening in the House this evening they are ready to speak, and in an appropriate manner. We would expect that of the Government as well. I am not sure why we are curtailing contributions on the Address-in-Reply, which is to be presented to the Governor tomorrow.

    Second, with all due respect to Christmas felicitations, I am very happy to have them tomorrow, but I am not happy to do so at 10.00 a.m. I respect the Governor of this State—she is a terrific person doing a great job—and I am more than happy for the House to adjourn at 11.30 a.m. to go to Government House to present the Address-in-Reply. However, I would be happier if we were adding to it this evening. The consequence of moving this motion for felicitations to occur at 10.00 a.m. will be to extinguish the rights of all members to raise private members' business tomorrow. That is important because many issues could, and should, be debated tomorrow. I personally would like to have a debate with the Minister for Transport about our respective economic prowess. The Minister delivered half of the Parramatta to Chatswood rail project at double the original cost. I am happy to compare that to the airport rail link project. I am also happy to debate the Premier about economic credentials, because this week he released a $660 million public transport statement. However, if one were to add up the amounts in the Premier's press releases one would find that the correct figure is $680 million.

    That is the sort of cost overrun and sloppiness in relation to accounting that we have come to expect from the Government—the sloppiness in relation to financial affairs that means that the surpluses generated by enormous tax revenues in the first eight or nine years of the Government have been frittered away. It is the sort of sloppiness that means that, even today with the announcement of the new rail cars for Maitland, what has not been overlooked by anyone is that not only are they two years late but they are also almost 40 per cent over budget. I am sure that would concern the honourable member for Maitland.

    Private members' day tomorrow would allow the Opposition to raise the scandalous issue of the long-awaited mental health bill being slipped in here yesterday and today when it cannot be passed by Parliament until after the next election. Last week the Government refused to introduce the mental health bill, which would have been a bipartisan exercise in getting reform in the mental health arena. Its passage through Parliament last week would have ensured that people who suffer from mental illness in this State, those who care for them and those who live with them would have been able to benefit from the legislation. But, no, the Minister Assisting the Minister for Health (Mental Health) slipped into the House today and put the bill on the table, where it will lay for at least five months while people are denied the benefits it would provide. Why? It is because the Government cannot manage its business.

    I am tired, and I know that the honourable member for Hornsby is tired, of asking the Minister for Fair Trading for the long-awaited amendments to the retirement villages legislation. The Retirement Villages Residents Association has grown sick and tired not only of this Minister but also of the two previous Ministers running around the State, issuing media releases every month, promising changes to that legislation and not delivering. As you know, Mr Deputy-Speaker, because you have as many retirement villages in your electorate as I have in mine, there are people living in retirement villages who are subjected to clauses that are, quite frankly, prejudicial to their interests and who have been looking for relief.

    This is, once again, an issue that should have bipartisan support in the House, but it is an issue that the Government has mismanaged. The Opposition's principal objection to the motion is that it does away with private members' business tomorrow under the pretext of the felicitations. Under Standing Order 157 I ask you to put the motion as separate questions so that we can see what parts we agree with, which includes going down to Government House tomorrow at 11.30 a.m., and so that we can vote against those parts we do not approve of. There are three separate parts of a seven-part motion that we would like put separately.

    Paragraphs 1 and 2 (a) of the motion agreed to.

    Question—That paragraphs 2 (b), 3 (a) and 3 (b) of the motion be agreed to—put.

    The House divided.
    Ayes, 44
            Ms Allan
            Mr Amery
            Ms Andrews
            Ms Beamer
            Mr Black
            Mr Brown
            Ms Burney
            Mr Campbell
            Mr Chaytor
            Mr Collier
            Mr Corrigan
            Mr Crittenden
            Ms D'Amore
            Ms Gadiel
            Mr Gaudry
            Mr Gibson
            Mr Greene
            Ms Hay
            Mr Hickey
            Mr Hunter
            Ms Judge
            Ms Keneally
            Mr Lynch
            Mr McBride
            Mr McLeay
            Ms Meagher
            Mr Mills
            Mr Morris
            Mr Newell
            Ms Nori
            Mrs Paluzzano
            Mr Pearce
            Mrs Perry
            Mr Price
            Ms Saliba
            Mr Sartor
            Mr Shearan
            Mr Stewart
            Ms Tebbutt
            Mr West
            Mr Whan
            Mr Yeadon
            Tellers,
            Mr Ashton
            Mr Martin

    Noes, 33
            Mr Aplin
            Mr Barr
            Ms Berejiklian
            Mr Cansdell
            Mr Constance
            Mr Draper
            Mrs Fardell
            Mr Fraser
            Mrs Hancock
            Mr Hartcher
            Mr Hazzard
            Ms Hodgkinson
            Mrs Hopwood
            Mr Kerr
            Mr McTaggart
            Mr Merton
            Ms Moore
            Mr Oakeshott
            Mr O'Farrell
            Mr Page
            Mr Piccoli
            Mr Pringle
            Mr Richardson
            Mr Roberts
            Mrs Skinner
            Mr Slack-Smith
            Mr Souris
            Mr Tink
            Mr Torbay
            Mr J. H. Turner
            Mr R. W. Turner

            Tellers,
            Mr George
            Mr Maguire

    Pair
                Mr Bartlett
                Mr Armstrong

    Question resolved in the affirmative.

    Paragraphs 2 (b), 3 (a) and 3 (b) of the motion agreed to.

    Paragraphs 3 (c) and 3 (d) of the motion agreed to.

    Motion agreed to.