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Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Page: 192


Mr PYNE (SturtMinister for Education and Leader of the House) (17:26): I seek leave to move a debate management motion on the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Amendment Bill 2013.

The SPEAKER: Is leave granted?

Mr BURKE: The opposition have indicated we are happy to facilitate making sure that the debate is fully dealt with tonight. We cannot agree to leave for this resolution which effectively cuts out the second reading debate altogether.

The SPEAKER: Leave is not granted.

Mr PYNE: I move:

That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the following applying in respect of proceedings on the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Amendment Bill 2013:

(1) Notice no. 5 relating to the bill being withdrawn;

(2) the bill proceeding through all stages on Wednesday, 13 November 2013;

(3) at the conclusion of the second reading debate, not including a Minister speaking in reply, or at 7 pm on Wednesday, 13 November 2013, whichever is the earlier, a Minister being called to sum up the second reading debate and then without delay the immediate question before the House to be put, then any question or questions necessary to complete the second reading stage of the bill to be put;

(4) if the second reading has been agreed to a Governor-General's message recommending an appropriation for the bill being announced and the bill then being taken as a whole during consideration in detail for a period not exceeding 60 minutes, and notwithstanding the automatic interruption for proposing the question that the House do now adjourn, at which time any Government amendments that have been circulated shall be treated as if they have been moved together with:

(a) one question being put on all the Government amendments;

(b) one question being put on any amendments which have been moved by non-Government Members, and

(c) any further questions necessary to complete the remaining stages of the bill being put;

(5) the House being adjourned immediately after the conclusion of the proceedings on the bill; and

(6) any variation to this arrangement to be made only by a motion moved by a Minister.

The effect of this motion is not, as was suggested by some members of the opposition, to have the second reading debate completed in the next 15 minutes. In fact, the effect of this motion is to negate the adjournment at seven o'clock, as it is now, in order to allow a full 60 minutes of debate on the consideration in detail stage between seven and eight and to allow—from now until seven o'clock—an hour and a half's debate, starting with the bill being introduced by my colleague the Treasurer. I am sure it will be responded to by the shadow Treasurer, amendments may well be moved, a debate can be held and the House can consider this Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Amendment Bill 2013.

In arguing for the suspension of standing orders, I do not intend to delay the House at great length, because I think we all want to get on with the issue. We would rather not have to suspend standing orders to have this debate truncated. There is no point in pretending we are not truncating the debate, because we are truncating it. We would prefer to have the matter lie on the table for a week or so, as is normally the case, to have the opposition go through the procedures of their standing room and backbench committees, which we also would prefer, of course. But this is the first day of the sitting of the 44th parliament and the first day, let alone week, of the first sitting fortnight of a parliament always requires unusual circumstances because no bills have been introduced until the parliament begins to sit. Yet, the parliament needs matters to deal with, apart from the address and reply, as does the Senate, of course, which needs bills to deal with, and these have to come from the House of Representatives. So we are having to introduce various bills today and start the debate on them—for example, the carbon tax amendment bills for the abolition of the carbon tax have been introduced successfully by the Prime Minister and the Minister for the Environment. Also, the Treasurer introduced earlier today the legislation for the abolition of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax. We have debated and introduced new democratising standing order changes, which I think will be an improvement for the House.

Also, as I promised some time ago, we will deal with the debt management bill issue today, because unfortunately the opposition has left us in a position where we are very likely to crash against the debt ceiling in the not-too-distant future. The government believes—and I am sure the Treasurer will expand on these remarks when he introduces the bill—that it is tremendously important to send a very strong message to the economy and to the markets that the government understands the need for confidence in the markets and the economy, and by introducing the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Amendment Bill 2013, which deals with a debt ceiling limit of $500 billion, we send a very clear message to the economy and the markets that we want to have a stable, adult, calm and methodical approach to the economy.

To allow this debate to drag on and to not get this bill through the parliament and into the Senate tomorrow would be to risk a lack of confidence in the market and in the economy. I think most financial commentators and most people interested in the economy—which of course would not be members of the opposition—would recognise that this is an emergency situation we face in terms of the budget deficit and debt, and that we have to act decisively, so we are acting decisively. I am moving this suspension of standing orders in order to allow a debate management motion to be introduced and passed. It will allow a full debate of the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Amendment Bill 2013.

I would add that the longer my honourable friends in the opposition choose to debate this motion the less time they will give to themselves to debate the actual substance of the bill. I note that the Manager of Opposition Business has given me a hint, for which I am grateful, and so I commend the motion to the House.