Wednesday, 5 June 2013
Okay. I seek leave. In light of the Prime Minister's concession that national security has not been adequately handled in relation to the detention of a convicted Egyptian terrorist in the Adelaide Hills—
Mr Dreyfus interjecting—
In light of the Prime Minister's concession that national security has not been adequately handled in relation to the detention of a convicted Egyptian terrorist in the low-security Adelaide Hills detention centre—
Mr Husic interjecting—
Leave is not granted, on the basis that the motion contains an outrageous distortion of what I said to the parliament today, and clearly the motion is therefore pursuing the opposition's campaign of dishonesty.
That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the Member for Stirling moving the following motion forthwith:
That the Prime Minister immediately commission a cross government review into the Government’s incompetent handling of the circumstances surrounding the placing of a convicted Egyptian jihadist terrorist in a low security family detention facility in the Adelaide Hills including:
(1) when was the Prime Minister, the Attorney-General, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and the Home Affairs Minister first made aware of the presence of the Egyptian terrorist in the detention network and when did each responsible department or agency brief their Minister and the Prime Minister;
(2) the adequacy of communication arrangements and intelligence sharing between the relevant departments and agencies on matters of national security;
(3) the effects of the Governments budget cuts on our national security agencies ability to detect such cases particularly the $6.9 million cut to ASIO’s budget for security screening of asylum seekers; and
(4) a review of any similar cases including those of a Sri Lankan man accused of murder who was released into the community on a bridging visa and an accused Iranian drug smuggler.
This is like government by Sergeant Schultz: nobody knows anything on national security. The Prime Minister—
I rise on a point of order, Speaker. It goes to whether this motion would be in order given that the Prime Minister has already announced an inquiry by the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security and therefore this motion is redundant.
Madam Speaker, on the point of order: the Leader of the House is simply time wasting, and I hate to add to it, but the point of this motion is that the House and the parliament should be able to debate the need for a cross-government inquiry into this fiasco. Yes, the Prime Minister has announced that she will ask the Director General of Intelligence and Security—
What we have heard in question time today on this serious breach of national security is that the immigration minister does not know anything, the Minister for Home Affairs does not think he should know anything—
The member for Stirling will resume his seat. The Leader of the House will resume his seat. The member for Stirling is moving a suspension. If he continues along this line, I will sit him down. The member for Stirling can argue his case. He should do so within the suspension and the issue before the chair, without the imputation. The member for Stirling has the call.
Standing orders must be suspended because this is an urgent matter, and it is an urgent matter because we are dealing with a grave breach of national security, and nobody in the government will take responsibility for it.
Speaker, on a point of order: the member for Stirling continues to abuse what should be the processes of standing orders and continues to argue the case as if the suspension had been carried. It has not. He has to refer to a suspension of standing orders—
Ms Julie Bishop interjecting—
as he is being instructed by the deputy leader now.
Standing orders need to be suspended because nothing is more important than national security, and we have heard in question time today that we do not have a government that is prepared to take responsibility for it even when it has been breached in such a grievous way.
and that is why standing orders should not be suspended.
Mr Morrison interjecting—
I am happy to have a point of order from you, Member for Cook. We should not suspend standing orders because what we have before this parliament over the next week and the week after that is nine days of sittings left. We have approaches from the opposition saying: 'Please, Leader of the House, can you make time for us to deal with a range of issues? Can you make time for us to deal with valedictories? Can you make time for us so that we can filibuster on the Education Bill?' That is why we should not suspend standing orders.
Four? I stand corrected by the Manager of Opposition Business. We had four contributions from the Manager of Opposition Business, and the usual suspects that they line up when they are filibustering. The member for Bradfield is a special. There are others who come in here regularly to filibuster—
Mr Hawke interjecting—
including the member for Mitchell. What they said was that the Education Bill was the priority. They said that was the priority and now they seek to suspend standing orders so that they can speak about an inquiry when the Prime Minister has already announced an inquiry by the appropriate inspector general. The Prime Minister has very clearly set an appropriate course of action, which is why we should not be suspending standing orders. It contradicts the behaviour of those opposite throughout not just today but the entire week. We had earlier on today the member for Lyne—
Mr Pyne interjecting—
Mr Keenan interjecting—
The member for Lyne had to indeed move that the question be put on the Education Bill, because they wanted to continue to debate education. And we were happy with debating education. But they stood up and gave the same speech as the member for Sturt did, not once, not twice, not three times, but—on his own account—four separate occasions. Members of the opposition come in here in order to filibuster just to delay them putting on the record their opposition to opportunity being given to Australian kids, regardless of their background and regardless of whether they went to a public school, a private school, an independent school or a Catholic school. They tried to delay that process.
At the same time they come to me and they ask for discussions to be held about the way that parliament will proceed over the remaining days of the 43rd Parliament. I am always happy, as you are aware, Speaker, to accommodate the opposition whenever I can, because that is the kind of Leader of the House that I am; I am inclusive and always happy to take on board any reasonable request from the opposition or the crossbenchers, as the crossbenchers are indicating right now.
So we have had a specific request from a number of members opposite. I will not embarrass them by putting it on the record because I can actually keep a secret between members of parliament when it is appropriate that it be kept. They have come to me and they have asked for particular times. Also collectively earlier on today I had a discussion with the Manager of Opposition Business about what the priorities would be over the next 10 days.
I think the member for Bradfield should stick to those little five-minute contributions. What they have done when they came before this chamber is say that they want all of their priorities, but whenever the opportunity arises from those opposite, what they do is delay, move suspensions of standing orders.
You might take their suspensions remotely seriously had they not done it day after day after day. Indeed, they have proposed more suspensions of standing orders in the 43rd Parliament than were proposed in the previous 42 parliaments put together. It is a strategy that they have. We have all had to engage in what we have seen from the Leader of the Opposition: the longest dummy spit in Australian political history. They have had one strategy, which is to not engage in serious debate, in spite of the fact that this parliament has presented unique opportunities not seen since the period during the Second World War, because a government that does not have a majority on its benches has to engage by definition with the whole parliament in order to secure the passage of legislation. But those opposite, rather than put up alternative pieces of legislation, rather than ask serious questions during question time, rather than engage in serious issues and put forward an alternative vision for this nation, have chosen instead relentless negativity day after day.
If anything symbolises the relentless negativity of those opposite it is the day-after-day suspensions of standing orders. How do I know it is Wednesday? Because this is the third suspension of standing orders this week. How will I know it is Thursday? Because tomorrow will be the fourth. Every day they come in here like clockwork. It has changed a little bit; it used to be that they did it at 10 to three, just before Playschool came on at three o'clock, so that the Leader of the Opposition got the 10 minutes prior to three o'clock in terms of broadcast time. We have had a slight change in the timing but no change in the strategy. Why? Because, in spite of the fact that we have a minority government dependent upon winning the arguments, the intellectual arguments, for our program of action, whether it be the education reforms that have gone through this week, whether it be DisabilityCare, whether it be the mental health package, whether it be the jobs bill, whether it be the infrastructure legislation— (Time expired)