Thursday, 4 April 2019
Resolutions of the Senate
Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission; Consideration of Senate Message
Mr Speaker, I'm seeking for you to clarify; I'm basing this on previous public statements you've made about how you would use the casting vote. The public statements that you have made about how you would use the casting vote said that, for example, in a second reading motion you would always cast with the ayes, because the principle is to allow for further debate, but for a third reading, for example, or for a motion, you would not use the casting vote to make a final decision that the House had not otherwise made. On this occasion, we have a decision of the House as to whether or not we have concurrence with the Senate. We don't have a procedural motion. We have a formal decision of the House. I put to you, Mr Speaker, in terms of what you have previously said on how you would use your casting vote, that: this is not a moment where it allows further debate; it is not the ordinary procedural motion that you might otherwise refer to; it is, in fact, a decision of the House. It would be different from precedent and a different use of the casting vote certainly to what you had said publicly you would use it for, if the casting vote becomes the reason that the House forms a view on a policy issue.