Wednesday, 23 November 2022
Questions without Notice
I said he's the responsible minister, so I'm asking him to take the point of order. Then I will hear the point of order and then I will hear your point of order. Just so you're clear, if I call the Leader of the House in that capacity, he's doing it as the Leader of the House. If I'm calling him by his full name, I'm calling him as the minister responsible.
On the question that has been asked, a regulatory impact statement has been referred to with no context as to what bill it was attached to, no context at all. So I'm not sure how it can be addressed to any minister. If it is something relating to my portfolio, there would have to be more context. I can't see how that's a question actually available to any minister.
To assist the House, it's page 52 of the regulation impact statement for the fair work secure jobs better pay bill—the bill that has recently passed the House and is going the Senate. Page 52 of the regulation impact statement.
Can I suggest that when a question is so obviously and deliberately not within the portfolio area of the minister it's being raised with, the question, rather than being redirected, should simply be ruled out of order?
With real respect for my colleague opposite, I think he's playing a little cute on this one. This issue has been quite contentious in the Senate already. Whether he has been conveyed that message or not—I would be very surprised if he hasn't—but the fact is that the question was put to the Minister for Small Business. It relates to the position within the regulatory impact statement that goes to small business impact, the 15,000 medium sized or large sized business. There is an obvious mistake that the minister should be aware of and she should—
To the point of order raised by the Leader of the Opposition, he actually just gave the game away. He actually said, even if you add all the extra context, it's about a medium sized business question, not about the small business minister. Even if we accept everything he has just said, they've still got it wrong! There is no way in the world that that question is a valid question in the way they've tried to direct it.
Is the argument now that the small business minister can't answer a question in relation to medium sized businesses? Is that the argument being put by the Leader of the House? How long does this protection racket continue on for?
To assist the House, I'm going to ask the member for Hughes to rephrase the question one more time so that the House can deal with the issue.
Government members interjecting—
Order! Members on my right! The member will resume her seat. The House will come to order. Members on my right, I'm trying to hear from the Prime Minister on a point of order. The members on my right will cease interjecting.
The member for Kingsford Smith is warned. I give the call to the Prime Minister.
Past speakers have, at this embarrassing point, just asked to move on. We should move on to the next question. I'm sure there's a member on this side with a question to do so.
Opposition member s interjecting—
Order! Members on my left! I want to give the member for Hughes a fair go. She's a new member. I'm going to ask her, out of courtesy and out of the respect I have for her, to ask the question. If it is out of order I will rule it so.
The member for Lalor is warned. I give the call to the member for Hughes.
My question is to the Minister for Small Business. Can the minister advise whether there is an error in the industrial relations regulatory impact statement, particularly under the fair work legislation amendment bill, particularly in relation to page 52 of that document, and, if so, can the minister advise the correct figure of that error?
The provision within the regulatory impact statement relates to small business. That's the section that is being referred to. For your information, Mr Speaker, it's not beyond the remit of the minister—in fact, it's entirely within her portfolio responsibilities. If the Minister for Small Business can't answer a question that relates to the financial impact of the legislation—
With respect to you, Mr Speaker, you chose to give the member the call. That can't be now overruled by some post backed advice from the Leader of the House. You made a judgement to give the call—
You may resume your seat. Thank you. I understand your point of order. To assist the House, I would remind all members to reside in their seat, as per the standing orders. I'm going to move to the next question, and we'll come back to the member for Hughes.