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Thursday, 25 November 2010
Page: 3766

Mr SECKER (9:56 AM) —As always, the Leader of the House comes across quite persuasively but I point out the fallacy in his argument about the proper order of government business. When the government has the second reading debate, the vote is immediate; whereas this government has brought in this fallacious idea that when private members’ business is debated there must be at least a week between the vote. Why is private members’ business any different from government business? It is not. The opposition have agreed to the suggestion that the debate be delayed to the next Thursday sitting of the parliament, so that we can have ordered votes on the Thursday. But this government is trying to say, ‘You have to wait another week after the debate is completed.’ This is a fallacious argument. If we have had the debate and the debate is finished, we could argue whether or not to put it to a vote.

All we are saying is that we should be able to vote on these motions when the debate has been completed in this parliament. In fact, on this occasion it has been completed for over a week. We would hope that the crossbenchers would support us in a very time-sensitive motion to have this voted on. As those on the Select Committee would know, we asked for the vote this Thursday and, just as the Prime Minister said during the week, the Selection Committee does not have the power to set a vote. However, this chamber does have the power to choose when we vote on a debate which has already been completed. I would implore those on the crossbenches to make sure that the parliament can vote on something that is so time sensitive that it would be worthless to defer it until next year.