Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Member for Bowman
That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the member for Kingston from moving the following motion immediately:
That the House:
(a)by keeping the Member for Bowman as chair of the Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training, the Prime Minister is showing how little value he places on committee work;
(b)his failure to respond to a letter written by female Opposition members of the committee urging him to act also shows how little value he places on the views of women;
(c)Government members need to stop the protection racket for the Member for Bowman; and
(d)the Prime Minister's failure to act is a demonstration of weakness, rather than leadership; and
(2)therefore, calls on the Prime Minister to discharge the Member for Bowman from the Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training immediately.
This Prime Minister has thrown his hands in the air and capitulated to the member for Bowman; he has thrown up his hands and said, 'I will do what you say.'
I've now called the division, and we're going to proceed with it. I think she did—
Honourable members interjecting—
No, don't try and yell at me from your seat. I will say, in fairness to both the member for Werriwa and the Leader of the House, that the microphones weren't on immediately as they came. We've agreed we're having a division for one minute, have we? The ayes have it. The noes have it? That's right. Division required. Let's not spend a minute on this when we can just ring the bells for one minute.
Just before members leave, I want to flag—I'm not making a ruling at this point, at this time of night, I stress, just before the adjournment—that I am going to consider the same-motion rule, certainly over the next day or so. We only have a couple of days to go. The reason being of course, obviously, that if a motion is identical it breaches the same-motion rule. But as Practice points out, the same-motion rule also applies to motions that are the same in substance.
There have been 10 motions moved that really go to one core question, and that is that the member for Bowman be discharged from his committee and his committee chairmanship. The Practice also points out that this is at the chair's discretion, and it has been used sparingly. My initial attitude, of course, is that if there's new information that might cause the House to vote differently then that's worth thinking about. But I'm just flagging my concern now that if the House is making an identical decision pretty much every day—as I said, this is the 10th—it may well invoke that. But I do stress to those on my right that it has been used sparingly in the past. So I'll report back.
Mr Gosling interjecting—
The member for Solomon, of course, is not helping at all. Maybe I should have said it twice at the start: I'm not making a ruling or seeking to have a debate. I am just considering the matter, and, obviously, I'll discuss it with the Leader of the House and the Manager of Opposition Business in due course. And I'm happy to hear from the Manager of Opposition Business on this now.
Just to raise a point of order—and I appreciate that it's something you're saying you're reflecting on rather than ruling on immediately: I would add for context that the House has been debating suspension motions. We have not been at the point where we've had the substantive motion in front of us.