House debates

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Bills

Treasury Laws Amendment (Prohibiting Energy Market Misconduct) Bill 2018; Consideration in Detail

1:23 pm

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

Is it the wish of the House to take the bill as a whole?

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Manager of Opposition Business (House)) Share this | | Hansard source

No, Mr Speaker, leave is not given to consider the bill as a whole.

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

Just before we proceed—I take that point from the Manager of Opposition Business, and he's entitled to move motions—there's a more fundamental point, though, and that is that the member for Kennedy is seeking to move some detailed amendments. They need to be circulated, and I haven't got a copy of them.

Opposition members interjecting

No, actually the standing orders are very clear that amendments need to be circulated and available to members, and it's a point, in fact, that the member for Grayndler made rather vigorously on another occasion. I just want to understand that—

Opposition members interjecting

While you're agreeing with me, that's fine! I just want to make sure that there are sufficient copies at the table.

Mr Katter interjecting

You don't need to stand; I'll call you in a second. I'm just trying to clarify something. Understand—

Mr Katter interjecting

Sure. It's obviously an issue with these amendments only just being tabled that it's important that the clerks have the opportunity to look at them and work out where they go sequentially. The Manager of Opposition Business has moved his motion. I don't feel that in good conscience we can proceed if we go down a wrong track with the bill with the amendments. What I'd suggest, if members are happy, just to give a little bit of time—I'm well within my rights to say I don't think there's been sufficient time, and they've only just been circulated. I first heard of their existence during the division. I could go through the House of RepresentativesPractice in arcane detail, and I could do that for several minutes. I just think it would be a better use of time if we moved to the 90-second statements, and that would mean that we would deal with it sufficiently. Is the Leader of the House happy with that course?

Photo of Christopher PyneChristopher Pyne (Sturt, Liberal Party, Leader of the House) Share this | | Hansard source

I am, Mr Speaker. I take a point of order to explain to the members that we would normally deal with the bill as one, as a whole, and therefore now, in consideration in detail, there would be this in-detail amendment from the member for Kennedy. Because, in this unprecedented way, Labor has refused to give leave to do that—

Mr Dreyfus interjecting

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

I remind the member for Isaacs that he has already been warned today. The Manager of Opposition Business was heard in silence. So will the Leader of the House be.

Photo of Christopher PyneChristopher Pyne (Sturt, Liberal Party, Leader of the House) Share this | | Hansard source

we therefore need the clerks to make sure that each amendment fits in with the clause in particular when we get to it. The first clause is, of course, the opening statement of the bill—the title of the bill, in fact—and there will be other clauses which the amendment might impact upon.

Photo of Christopher PyneChristopher Pyne (Sturt, Liberal Party, Leader of the House) Share this | | Hansard source

Normally, of course, we would deal with the whole bill, and the amendment would be discussed as part of the whole. The opposition has just deliberately stopped this bill from being able to be debated, and I agree with you that your course of action to go to 90-second statements while the clerks go through that laborious process is the only alternative.

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

That's right. It's not up to me to comment on motions that are moved. Motions are entitled to be moved, but what's most important is that the House knows what it's considering and that the advice is properly there before the House.

Photo of Bob KatterBob Katter (Kennedy, Katter's Australian Party) Share this | | Hansard source

A quick point of order to clarify the matter, Speaker—

Photo of Bob KatterBob Katter (Kennedy, Katter's Australian Party) Share this | | Hansard source

and I think it does need clarification—

Photo of Bob KatterBob Katter (Kennedy, Katter's Australian Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Everyone in this House, particularly on this side, is worried about the sale of government assets that will occur. The government has agreed that we will prevent the sale of government assets, so my amendment is about preventing the sale of government assets, which particularly appertains to the Snowy and to Queensland.

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

I gave the member for Kennedy a chance to rise, given that he was moving the amendments. So I've set the course of action we're going to pursue. The reason for that is that the amendments hadn't been circulated in sufficient time for the due diligence that needs to be done, to be done. It's not proper, I don't think, for the member for Kennedy to start explaining his amendments prior to that work being done. Once that work has been done, he'll be able to do it. It being 1.30 pm, are there any members' statements?