House debates

Thursday, 15 December 2022



9:12 am

Photo of Paul FletcherPaul Fletcher (Bradfield, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Government Services and the Digital Economy) Share this | Hansard source

The answers to these questions are not yet known, and that is why this parliament has a well-accepted method for dealing with complex issues. Of course it can be done in a rapid fashion, but what this government is proposing is absolutely ludicrous.

We might all remember when the Prime Minister and the current Leader of the House, when in opposition, used to talk about how important the role of parliament is. This is what the Leader of the House said in 2019: 'There is a process that happens with legislation that, I have to say, does matter.' It does matter that members have the opportunity to read legislation, a very sound point which this government is now completely ignoring. What did the Prime Minister say in March in Tasmania? He said:

In terms of legislation that comes before the Parliament, quite often, it's just aimed at dividing people and being tricky . And I call it 'wedgislation' rather than putting the national interest first. … I want proper processes. I want to consult people.

That is what this Prime Minister said in March of this year before he was elected. He is doing the exact opposite with the appalling, atrocious and ill-considered process that this government is using to deal with this bill. That is why we have put this set of amendments to the motion to suspend standing orders that has been moved by the acting Leader of the House. The set of amendments that we have moved would allow for a proper second reading debate, a proper consideration in detail. It is still a process that is very far from adequate but it would at least make some improvements on what is an atrocious and cavalier way to ask this parliament to deal with matters of great complexity; matters that go to confidence by investors; matters that go to whether, in fact, this bill will work to achieve its outcome, its objective, and there are very real reasons to doubt that it will do that; it will in fact have the opposite effect. These are the kinds of matters that the parliament should be considering. The process being carried out here is atrocious; it is the precise opposite of the rhetoric that we heard from the Prime Minister and the Labor Party prior to the election, and that is why we have moved amendments to the motion to suspend standing orders in the form that we have.


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