Business Of The House
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Precedence of Business
The Hon. M. R. EGAN (Treasurer, Minister for Energy, Minister for State Development, Minister Assisting the Premier, and Vice-President of the Executive Council) [11.04]: I move:
1. On Thursday 8 June 1995 Government Business is to take precedence of General Business.
Let me assure honourable members that, if this motion is carried, the House will be sitting tomorrow, and general business and private members' business will take precedence. I would have thought the Opposition required only my assurance that this will take place. When I was Leader of the Opposition it was a regular occurrence on the last week of any sitting for Government business -
The Hon. J. H. Jobling: This is the third week.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: It is the last scheduled week. Under the former Government it was a regular occurrence for the Government to abolish private members' business; not transfer it, but abolish it altogether. I gave an assurance in Opposition that we would not abolish private members' business; that we would facilitate both private members' business and Government business, and I am true in my word on that. I believe it will suit the convenience of the House, and certainly assist in dealing with important Government business, if the House today deals with that aspect. The Government proposes that tomorrow will be given up to private members' business.
The Hon. J. P. HANNAFORD (Leader of the Opposition) [11.06]: I hear what the Leader of the Government in this House has said. The Opposition will not be calling for a division because it is anticipated that members on the crossbenches will support the Government. However, the Opposition finds it unusual that the Government would want to deprive the House of private members' day on this Thursday, the third sitting Thursday of the Government in office. It has been clearly indicated in another place that that House intends to resume on 18 July, although I shall have to wait to see whether that occurs. But, if that is what happens, there is no reason why this House cannot come back on 18 July and deal with additional business.
If the Government has a problem in relation to the conduct of its business, it is a problem of its own making. Members on the crossbenches have clearly shown that they are prepared to trust the Government on this. However, the clearest indication of the Government's real intention in this regard would be that, when this motion is dealt with, the Government will move the special adjournment so that the House will know that it is going to be resuming tomorrow at either 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock, or whatever is the proposed time. The Opposition looks forward to that motion from the Government to show that this House is going to return tomorrow.
The Hon. R. S. L. JONES [11.07]: This actually affects me because I was going to speak on euthanasia today. However, I am quite happy to speak on that tomorrow. The Australian Democrats trust the Government to do the right thing, as we trusted the coalition parties when they were in government. The Government has said it will do something. We believe that will be done. We are quite happy to have private members' day tomorrow.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN (Treasurer, Minister for Energy, Minister for State Development, Minister Assisting the Premier, and Vice-President of the Executive Council) [11.08], in reply: I would have thought that the Leader of the Opposition would understand the procedures of the House. There will be no motion for a special adjournment today. This means that, under the sessional orders, the House will automatically sit tomorrow at 11 a.m. Tomorrow I will move the special adjournment.
The Hon. J. P. Hannaford: Provided you adjourn the House tonight until tomorrow.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: I do not have to do that. At the end of the day I will move, That the House do now adjourn. My understanding is that the House will then sit at 11 o'clock tomorrow. Opposition members must know that. They should not try to be mischievous.
Motion agreed to.
2. On Friday 9 June 1995 General Business is to take precedence of Government Business until 3.45 p.m.