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Thursday, 21 November 2013
Page: 1018


Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (12:44): On indulgence, and to the point of order, Madam Speaker: this goes to your ruling, which, with respect, I do not think is correct in this instance. Anyone who was here at that time would be very familiar with the proposition to which the then Attorney-General responded, because it was indeed the member for McKellar who was trying to do—

The SPEAKER: What you're trying to do.

Mr ALBANESE: exactly what you are now saying was wrong. You will recall at that time that the member for Mackellar and other members of the now government benches voted that it was competent for that amendment to proceed.

You would also be aware of the way amendments are drafted and put before this chamber. The amendments are done by the opposition in consultation with the clerks. It is at that point in time that it is determined upon the best proper apolitical advice on whether those amendments are in order. In this case, in spite of the fact that this legislation is being rammed through with the gag motion, with very little debate—which is why the amendments were put before the chamber today and are being voted upon just hours after without proper consideration—the shadow minister has put forward these amendments in the usual way, having got approval from the clerks, which is when that occurs.

That occurs for very practical reasons, Madam Speaker—

The SPEAKER: I have heard your point.

Mr ALBANESE: I have further points, Madam Speaker. If I can pursue them, please.

The SPEAKER: The dissertation is a bit lengthy.

Mr ALBANESE: I would like to pursue them, please.

The SPEAKER: I have a response to what you have put forward.

Mr ALBANESE: If I could pursue all of them.

The SPEAKER: If you can do it in a very short space of time, you may proceed.

Mr ALBANESE: I will do my best, Madam Speaker.

The SPEAKER: And, if your best is not good enough, you may resume your seat.

Mr ALBANESE: Well, and then we will have another process, Madam Speaker, that will take 25 minutes.

The SPEAKER: Indeed.

Mr ALBANESE: In terms of the processes, your ruling would suggest that you are making a determination that the ETS, effectively, coming in—the floating price—earlier than what is envisaged—

The SPEAKER: This is now a debate and that is not a point of order.

Mr ALBANESE: No, it goes to your ruling.

The SPEAKER: No, I am sorry, I am ruling you out of order. Resume your seat! I will address the matters you have already raised.

Mr Albanese: I have a point of order.

The SPEAKER: What is your further point of order? Would you refer to the standing order you are relying upon. Standing order number what?

Mr Albanese: I am referring very specifically to your ruling. Your ruling makes a determination on what the price will be.

The SPEAKER: You are now debating my ruling. There are other forms of the House for that.

Mr Albanese: That is a decision you have made on the basis that the revenues would make a difference.

The SPEAKER: I am not accepting debate on my ruling! The member will resume his seat!

Mr Albanese: Well, we will do it in another way. I would rather not do it that way.

The SPEAKER: The member will resume his seat! Would you prefer to leave the chamber?

Mr Albanese: No, Madam Speaker.

The SPEAKER: Then resume your seat! Very simply, the member has raised the question that the clerks had prepared these amendments for them.

An opposition member: That is not what he said.

The SPEAKER: Indeed, it is what he said.

Opposition members: It is not.

The SPEAKER: There will be silence! Indeed, a similar situation arose with a question of my bill, to which the member has referred. It too was prepared by the clerks and it had had a second reading, and this point was raised at the point where we were to proceed further.

When this issue was to be dealt with I did speak to the member for Port Adelaide as soon as I could possibly do so because I did not take this question lightly. I did do quite a deal of research into the question because of my concern about it. The point is that these are in line with the previous ruling of the Speaker. The member for Grayndler said that we voted against it, which we did, but I accept the ruling of the Speaker as being appropriate.

Mr Burke: As you would appreciate, we do not have a written copy of the ruling. My point of order is under standing order 179c. I am trying to work out how the amendment that reduces the current pricing arrangements can be seen as an amendment which would increase the scope of the charge proposed not beyond the bill before us but beyond any act of parliament. It is the act of parliament that is the reference point. I am trying to work out how other than by making what might be a political point across the chamber you have reached a conclusion about price?

The SPEAKER: I am relying on section 179a and 179b:

(a) Only a Minister may initiate a proposal—

A proposal is a proposal and your amendment is a proposal. It is covered by the words:

to impose, increase, or decrease a tax or duty, or change the scope of any charge.