Thursday, 1 August 2019
Questions to the President
Leave of the Senate
I seek leave to make a short statement.
Yesterday during motions I was denied leave to speak for a minute on a motion that I had put to the Senate for referral to the Environment and Communications References Committee. For clarification, I went back and reviewed the video around the motion. Leave was granted and you did grant me leave to speak. I spoke for about three seconds before you then said leave wasn't granted. I want to ask about the precedent about you making a decision or ruling that leave has been granted and then a senator speaking and then having their—I'm not asking about why leave was denied. I want to know about the precedent of having leave granted and then having it taken away while you're in the middle of a speech.
I made a mistake in that case, Senator Whish-Wilson. Leave was denied. My attention was brought to it. As we know, in that section of the Senate's business leave is often granted—I simply jumped at it. I made the mistake and, hence, when it was brought to my attention I corrected that mistake.
I'm happy to admit if I make error and I'm happy for anyone to draw my attention to such an error. That section of the day is obviously sometimes a difficult one. I will make it very clear from this point that I will not presume leave is granted, so I don't inadvertently make that error again.