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Thursday, 20 June 2013
Page: 6535

Dr LEIGH (FraserParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister) (15:41): There is one simple reason why standing orders should not be suspended in this instance, and that is that this is the time to debate the matter of public importance.

The matter of public importance today is moved by the member for Cook. The member for Cook is frequently heard in this chamber, often at loud volumes, speaking about the importance of debating asylum seekers. That is an important debate to be had here. I would be very happy to engage in that debate to speak about why it is that the opposition are not willing to back the recommendations of the Houston panel. Why the opposition, on the issue of asylum seekers, choose cheap political slogans rather than the advice of experts like Angus Houston, Michael L'Estrange and Paris Aristotle. Why the opposition would rather send boats back to Indonesia, a country that says no, than strike a deal with Malaysia, a country that says yes.

That, Deputy Speaker, as I understand it, is the matter of public importance that you yourself have chosen to be the most important debate to be had before this House. But the opposition have now suggested that we should stop that entirely to instead bring on debate and bring back to this place discussion over maritime laws—discussion that is still being debated in the Federation Chamber. (Time expired)

Mr Wilkie: I seek leave to clarify that the Selection Committee on 5 June in its report listed this for decision today.

The SPEAKER: The member for Denison will resume his seat. If I got that wrong, my apologies. I am just feeling a little tender around people playing loose with the truth with the selection committee at this point in time, so if I got that wrong, my apologies.

The question is that the motion be agreed to.