House debates

Tuesday, 10 September 2019


Fair Work Laws Amendment (Proper Use of Worker Benefits) Bill 2019; Second Reading

4:52 pm

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | Hansard source

Sorry, I can't hear.

Honourable members interjecting

I'm just going to make a couple of points that I think will avoid the House—

Mr Hunt interjecting

Minister for Health, your timing is appalling. It really is. You've got to be either quicker or slower. I don't mind which one.

Members know I'm practical when I can be. I say to the Manager of Opposition Business: I'm going to rule that I don't agree with what you're saying, but I'm going to be practical here. The rule about members moving after the tellers have been appointed can mean that a member has been recorded as voting other than in accordance with his or her wish, but members realising they've been sitting on the wrong side after the tellers have been appointed have been obliged to remain in their seats, on the side they were sitting. So what I'm going to do is admonish the member for Newcastle. Realise the importance of a one-minute division. But, in order not to detain the House, I do in all fairness have to point out that at no point was the member for Newcastle sitting on the government side. I've asked members to take their seats. That's my ruling on the matter, but I am going to point out the member for Newcastle was standing on the government side. I'll reflect on this matter, but I'm not prepared to create a new precedent right here, right now. But please don't anyone think that I won't in the future. That's a warning to everyone in the House.

Just adding very briefly to my ruling, I point out to members on both sides of the House that, whilst the member for Newcastle was standing on the government side, in these one-minute divisions when members are crossing there have been many instances on both sides where members have not crossed to the side they're going to sit down on by the time I've appointed the tellers. I'm just being practical about it, but the message for all members is: please cross and sit down; leave your discussions about whatever you want to discuss until after the division.


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