Tuesday, 10 September 2019
National Integrity Commission Bill 2018 (No. 2); First Reading
The tape will clearly show that I was on my feet first, seeking to speak to the motion of the Attorney-General. There's absolutely no reason why we can't have a debate on this motion with the call being given to the person who rose first.
I'm sorry, Mr Deputy Speaker Vasta. We're entitled to have a vote on that. There is no gag; we're entitled to have a debate on that question, and I'm seeking the call on that question. This is extraordinary! You have just put the question twice and you are refusing to allow debate on this question!
Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I move:
That all words after 'That' be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:
The motion for the second reading be proceeded with immediately.
We can have an ICAC today and we should have an ICAC today—
The actual moving of the motion just done by the Leader of the House was done after he'd left the dispatch box and while he was seated. When he actually said the words, 'I move that the question be put,' he had left the dispatch box and sat down, because he got the words wrong when he was at the dispatch box.
Yes, I know you gave him the call, but he didn't move anything when you gave him the call. He then sat down, realised he'd said the wrong thing and from his seat said that he moved the question be put. That doesn't count!
I have moved, as an amendment, that the motion for the second reading be proceeded with immediately. The Leader of the House has not moved that the member no longer be heard; what he's moved is something else. But, I having moved that, the appropriate thing to do now is to call for whether there is a seconder to that. It's not to move that the question be put, because I have moved a separate motion that needs seconding.
The question now is that the question be put. That's my ruling; that's the advice from the clerks and that's what I'm going for. So that's the question: that the question be put.
Honourable members interjecting —
The question is that the second reading amendment be made an order of the day for the next sitting.
I will just say to the member for Melbourne that he hasn't got the call at the moment, so no-one is hearing what he's saying. I've been following proceedings, and there are two issues. One was the allocation of the call. I say to the Deputy Speaker that he needs to call the person who he believes rose first. I've heard his explanation for that and I don't think that's at issue. If the member for Melbourne finds that an issue, there is ample precedence where the government can take responsibility for a bill such as this. I could go through them at great length, which I don't think I need to do.
Once the question is then stated, the member for Melbourne is entitled to move an amendment, which I understand he has done. At that point the motion can be moved that the question be put. I heard the member for Melbourne say—and I think that he obviously believes this to be the case—that the Deputy Speaker should be calling for a seconder. That's not the case, because the question before the chair isn't the amendment. It's well written up in the Practice. I'm happy to take the member for Melbourne through it; in fact, the opposition has been in exactly this predicament many times. Until an amendment is moved, seconded and then stated and before the House, the motion that the Leader of the House moved is quite right. It does seem like a steamroller, but that's how the standing orders are.
In order not to detain the House, I was watching carefully in my office. I'm happy to be corrected, but the motion before the House was the amendment moved by the member for Melbourne. Whilst it might surprise the member for Melbourne, the Leader of the House is quite entitled to put the motion 'that the motion be put' at any time through member for Melbourne's speech, at any time through any seconder's speech, at any time up until the question before the House is 'that the amendment be agreed to', and we're nowhere near that. I'll hear from the member for Melbourne.
Just for clarification so I understand, given that this has all moved very quickly: in simple terms, the motion has come from the Senate. The bill has been read a first time. The government said, 'Defer the matter.' I moved an amendment to say, 'No, consider it immediately.'
There will be no debate on my amendment about whether we consider it immediately or not because the Attorney-General is, in effect, gagging the whole debate and moving the question. If I understand correctly, and so I know which way to sit, the question that's being put is not the amendment about considering it immediately—
I'm impartial and just follow the standing orders. The motion that the Leader of the House has moved, that the question be put, must be put immediately without debate. That will be on the question that the Leader of the House has moved, not your amendment. In terms of your language, you're entitled to describe it any way, but, as Speaker, I need to describe it as: he is acting entirely within the standing orders and within the Practice. The Manager of Opposition Business.
Okay. I think there are two different arguments happening here. The Manager of Opposition Business is saying that the Leader of the House has not yet put the motion 'that the motion be put'. I'll call the member for Melbourne on his amendment.