Monday, 18 April 2016
Road Safety Remuneration Repeal Bill 2016, Road Safety Remuneration Amendment (Protecting Owner Drivers) Bill 2016; Third Reading
No, it is not. We want to have a consideration in detail stage. It is quite reasonable to be able to have it. This legislation did not reach the parliament until today. It is being gagged already. People are entitled to give five-minute speeches on it.
I am opposed to standing orders being suspended, and Labor is opposed to standing orders being suspended here. All we are saying is we should be allowed to put our case to the Parliament of Australia. But those members opposite believe that somehow they have the right to just ignore that, to come straight over the top.
Mr Deputy Speaker Vasta, on a point of order: it is just been argued that I did not have the call, so how can he move that I be no longer heard? You have to give me the call now that that has been stated and then, if he is upset, he can move that I be no longer heard—but he cannot move it if I do not have the call.
No, the member for Gorton will resume his seat. The motion requires the third reading be put immediately without debate.
A division having been called and the bells being/having been rung—
I appoint the same tellers as per the previous division. Again, if members would remain in their seats during successive divisions, it would be helpful. If they did not vote in the previous division or are changing their vote, they should report to the tellers. Those who have changed their seats or come into the chamber: could they report to the tellers.
and they have. Members cannot move now.
Mr Burke interjecting—
Mr Pyne interjecting—
Mr Albanese interjecting—
Members should not move around during—let's be very clear about this. This is a matter for the tellers to be satisfied that people have reported to them.
Mr Burke interjecting—
As I have said, this is a matter for the tellers to satisfy themselves. I am not going to take interjections on the subject.
Mr Perrett interjecting—
The member for Moreton! The Clerk is conversing with the tellers, as you know.
Point of order, Mr Speaker. There has been a breach of the counting rules that have been carried by this House by the government whips. And this is a serious point of order, because the whips have put you in this position, Mr Speaker, and you have simply reported to the House what they have given you, but the numbers you have reported in terms of how many people have voted on the government side are not signed off on or agreed to in any way by the opposition whips. They are in direct contradiction to the rules that have been put in place by the Leader of the House.
We did not like those rules when they were brought in, but the rules are: unless someone leaves their chair in an orderly way—they cannot do it in a disorderly way, which would put an obligation on you to consider naming them or removing them from the House—during the period when the doors are open, they must come up and report to the whips. We know that only happened with the member for Kennedy, and yet the count has changed by three. That is not possible as an outcome under the rules we have.
Standing order 129 has been changed in this term of parliament. Standing order 129 now says:
(c) Upon the doors being locked, the Speaker shall:
(i) state the question to the House;
(ii) direct the Members voting ‘Aye’ to move to the right side of the Chair, and the Members voting ‘No’ to move to the left; and
(iii) appoint tellers for each side.
(d) No Member may move from his or her place from the commencement of the count until the result of that division is announced.
Unfortunately crossbench members, told to do so by the government whip, were put in an impossible position as well, where all that had to happen was that your ruling be followed. As a result of your ruling being ignored by the government whips, you have now been put in a situation where the count you have reported is in direct contradiction to the standing orders. I ask you, Mr Speaker, to confirm what I have described as having happened and, if so, to ask the government whips to adjust the count.
We have had occasions under this new rule where some people on the government side have left the room altogether, but when it is a one-minute division they still get counted as though they were still here. That is not a particularly democratic procedure. But it is how the House has voted to work and how it therefore operates. What just happened there was in direct contradiction to the standing orders that we have. I simply ask that you ask the whips to advise you in accordance with the standing orders, because otherwise they have put you in an impossible situation under standing orders 129, 132 and 131(b)(i).
Mr Speaker, I do not want to delay the House unnecessarily and I do not want to delay you unnecessarily in sending messages to the Senate, but quite clearly the Manager of Opposition Business is trying on a juvenile pathetic debating point. The custom has become in this place over time that tellers need to be satisfied that someone has reported to them. Over the last few years—
when these rules have been in place, the custom has become to catch the eye of the teller, to indicate that they have come into the chamber and that they are sitting on a particular side of the House. That has been the custom. It happens on every occasion. It is very rare for a member to come all the way to the tellers and tell them they have come into the chamber or changed their vote. Every member of the House knows that that is very regular.
Ms Ryan interjecting—
It is very regular for members to come into the House and wave at the tellers and say: 'I have arrived' or 'I have changed my vote; I am moving to the other side'—usually the crossbenchers in fact from that part of the chamber. So this is a pathetic try-on. Obviously the record should reflect the votes in the House of Representatives, and clearly the members for Kennedy, Denison and Indi indicated that they wanted to vote with the government on this bill. That is how they voted and that is what should be recorded.
Mr Speaker, to assist the House, I can explain to the members exactly what happened. Before the doors were closed, I moved. I was careful to indicate to the member for Braddon that I had moved. I also indicated to the member for Braddon that the member for Indi had moved. He clearly recognised and understood what I had brought to his attention. So I cannot see why there is any problem here—other than perhaps drawing attention to the fact that I am wearing the South Hobart football—
The member for Denison will resume his seat.
Mr Burke interjecting—
No. The Manager of Opposition Business has had a go. He can resume his seat, and I will let the Leader of the House and the member for Grayndler have a go.
I just want to address the point of order. I am entitled to do that. The reporting of the vote is a matter for the tellers. I have not made a ruling; I have reported what the tellers have given me. I have heard the Manager of Opposition Business. But the tellers report the result to me as Speaker, and I report it to the House. That is quite clear. I have not made a ruling; I have reported the vote to the House. That is what I have done. The other point I would make is that how members report to the tellers is a matter for the tellers, not a matter for me. I have patiently listened. I am not going to take further points of order on this issue.
Briefly. Standing order 132 is there to deal with exactly this situation. Because of the arguments that were happening in the course of the division it is true that members, in a disorderly way, moved from their seats, which none of us are allowed to do. But that did happen in front of us all. Standing order 132 simply allows the division to occur again. That standing order has been put there for exactly this reason. I would simply ask you, Mr Speaker, for it to be used. The reason is that we should not have a situation where the government whips can report whatever number they feel like and the House has no recourse. Standing order 132 allows us to do it again.
Mr Christensen interjecting—
Mr Pasin interjecting—
The member for Dawson will cease interjecting! The member for Barker will cease interjecting! Standing order 132 does provide for a division where there has been confusion. I think the sensible course of action is we will adopt standing order 132(a). I will call a division for four minutes and I would ask the tellers to do a full count. In accordance with standing order 132(a), the question is that the bill be now read a third time.