I rise with a heavy heart that is quite agitated this evening, because like many
other members in this chamber I have become increasingly impatient with the type
of business that is before this house on Wednesdays. This is just symptomatic of
what we have been putting up with for some time. But this motion, in the way
that it has been brought to this house this evening, is a reason for my
opposition, amongst many others. In many ways we are attempting to talk to the
members on the crossbenches and the opposition about the due and proper process
of how the business of this house should be conducted, not just in terms of
government business but also in terms of opposition business on Wednesdays.
Unfortunately today has worked out to be an absolutely brilliant example of how
democracy does not work.
It does not work in terms of the processes of the house, which
led us to have this debate tonight, nor does it work in terms of the content of
I am not going to even pretend to debate this motion because I
am beyond wanting to debate it. I am pretty upset about this process being
before the house. This is a direct attack, not only on the Leader of the
Government in this house but also on the Treasurer, someone I did not know very
well before I entered this house but someone I have come to know as a person who
has enormous credibility. Not only does he have enormous credibility, but he is
also meticulous and fastidious about the way he approaches governance, his
politics and also his personal life.
I see it as an absolute affront that we have this motion before
us tonight. The Leader of the House has a proper sense of governance in every
way and is absolutely beyond reproach.
I take offence that this motion is before us tonight. It is all
symptomatic of what is a waste of time. We have so much work to do. We have a
backlog of legislation. What we have is not just wacky Wednesdays; we also have
wacky Wednesday nights.
I understand there are some members on the crossbenches and in
the opposition who have some heartfelt need to pursue this issue; not once, not
twice but three times so far. All I say to them is that they are clearly misled.
It is unfortunate that they feel the need to bring their sanctimonious, feelgood
mission to this point. Mr Viney has already explained how he has bent over
backwards to work out how this chamber can properly function. Minister Jennings
gave a lengthy but succinct description of the responsibilities of ministers and
the executive and the ability and inability to present documents at certain
I will finish by calling on the house not to reject just this
motion but to reject the smugness that is associated with this motion and also
the way members of this house behave and the type of business that is brought
before this house on Wednesdays and Wednesday nights.