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Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Page: 62


Mr MARLES (Corio) (09:20): The Rambo in opposition—

The SPEAKER: You do not have the call, I am sorry. The member will desist. He has not had the call. I called the member for Isaacs.

Mr Burke: On a point of order, Madam Speaker: under standing order 67, I ask that you restate the question to the House.

The SPEAKER: I am happy to restate the question to the House. It was the one as moved by the Manager of Opposition Business. The member for Isaacs had the call.

Mr Burke: On a point of order, Madam Speaker: the motion before the House has been moved and seconded. Under standing order 67 we are entitled to invite and to ask the Speaker to restate the entire resolution to the House. Under standing order 67, we request that you do so.

The SPEAKER: The Manager of Opposition Business has asked that the motion be reread. It says:

That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the Member for Watson from moving the following motion forthwith: That the House:

(1) notes:

(a) that the Prime Minister committed to lead a Government which is transparent and open and the Coalition's Real Solutions platform stated that the Coalition would "restore accountability and improve transparency measures";

(b) the Leader of the House on 30 January 2013 committed himself to a parliamentary practice in Government to "allow any Member of any political party who has serious questions to answer, time to explain themselves through the Parliament to the Australian people"; and

(c) the Prime Minister and Minister for Immigration have adopted a new culture of secrecy and are hiding information from the Australian people. The Minister has repeatedly refused to answer questions at weekly Operation Sovereign Borders briefings. That failure to answer questions has led the Australian people to rely on the Jakarta Post for information about their own Government. Questions remain relating to attempted so-called turn backs of boats, buy back of boats and to the state of negotiations between Australia and Indonesia about a people swap arrangement with Indonesia; and

(2) calls on the Minister for Immigration to attend the House immediately and explain for a period not exceeding thirty minutes:

(a) the status of all discussions with Indonesia about the progress of Operation Sovereign Borders, including those discussions relating to a people swap arrangement with Indonesia;

(b) how the Government intends to pursue its election commitment to turn back boats to Indonesia and buy back boats in fishing villages; and

(c) whether any of the measures which have been effective in reducing the flow of asylum seeker vessels to Australia are now in jeopardy as a result of the Minister's chaotic handling of his portfolio including the Regional Resettlement Arrangements with Papua New Guinea and Nauru and the abolition of visa on arrival arrangements in Indonesia for Iranians.