Thursday, 25 November 2010
Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010
I wish to speak to the amendments but, firstly, I have sat in this chamber for nearly four hours and, for the last hour and a half of the debate on the amendments by the opposition, have heard the minister repeatedly ask shadow ministers of the opposition to explain what is going on. They have no idea. In all fairness, let’s just cast our minds back to last night. There was an opportunity for the opposition to debate this bill for three hours. They did not have the bottle. They did not have the intestinal fortitude to stay here for three hours last night and have the debate.
We sat here this morning and watched a most ridiculous situation—a waste of Senate time for three hours. There were some of the most ridiculous points of order by the usual suspects, including Senator Macdonald from Queensland—a usual suspect in filibustering and stalling. Another usual suspect for wasting time is Senator Brandis. The two of them, with Senator Joyce jumping in, made no sense. It took three hours before we could even debate the bill. Then we had Senator Birmingham lecturing us. I do not know—he might be hungry or there might be a barbecue outside. I have no idea. How dare they come in here and lecture us when they had three hours available last night! They have no guts and no bottle. They went missing in action, and then they have the audacity to lecture us. They do not even have the guts to come into the chamber. The minister on duty spent nearly two hours debating this set of amendments and not one of those opposite showed some decency. Perhaps they have no idea. I do not know. Mr Turnbull, the shadow minister, was in here earlier. Perhaps they do not have any directions from him. I have no idea. But for Senator Birmingham to come in here at the last minute is so disingenuous. It does him no credit. It does that side of the chamber no credit. Senator Joyce screamed at the minister and did not make any sense—hang on, I will rephrase that: that is normal for Senator Joyce. What a complete waste of the Senate’s time.