Senate debates

Tuesday, 22 June 2021


Days and Hours of Meeting

3:31 pm

Photo of Rex PatrickRex Patrick (SA, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

This is the 10th time motion that has been moved by Senator Birmingham in his time as Leader of the Government in the Senate. He has been in that position for 35 days, so every 3.5 days the minister has moved a time motion to try and get business through the Senate because he is not able to manage properly the time of the Senate.

I will point out that this is not a time motion. The government did me the courtesy of talking to me about this motion. I agreed to the idea of a time extension tonight so we could accommodate the government's requirements. But this is not a motion just to extend time; it's a gag motion. It has the requirement at the end of it that, once we've reached 9.15, the questions on all remaining stages be put without debate. That is not how this chamber is supposed to work. A number of bills have been laid out today for this time motion. Some of them are complex. Whenever we move bills and amendments without debate people don't have the opportunity to stand up and put their perspective. Often I listen to the perspectives, whether it be in my suite or sitting here in the chamber. This motion is disrespectful to democracy, particularly noting how many times this has been done. I point out that Senator Cormann over the period of a year moved only nine time motions, so you've now capped him in a much shorter time frame, Senator Birmingham. It's poor management. We should not be supporting this with a gag at the end of it.


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