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Monday, 1 December 2008
Page: 7703


Senator CORMANN (3:49 PM) —I move:

That the Senate—

(a)   notes that:

(i)   on 15 November 2008, state and territory Labor Treasurers held a pre-Council of Australian Governments (COAG) strategy meeting in preparation of the COAG meeting on 29 November 2008,

(ii)   the Western Australian Treasurer (Mr Buswell) was explicitly told not to attend that meeting by the Treasurer for Victoria (Mr Lenders),

(iii)   the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Evans) has sought to justify the exclusion of the Western Australian Treasurer from the pre-COAG strategy meeting held by all Labor state and territory Treasurers,

(iv)   when asked whether the Government had received any representations or had any discussions on issues relating to the upcoming COAG meeting as a result of that pre-COAG strategy meeting, the Leader of the Government in the Senate responded that ‘certainly there would have been preparations done’,

(v)   the exclusion of the Western Australian Treasurer from COAG preparations and the attitude of the Leader of the Government in the Senate in relation to that are not in the spirit of ‘cooperative federalism’ promoted by the Government before the 2007 federal election, and

(vi)   even the Western Australian Labor Shadow Treasurer (Mr Wyatt) was ‘surprised and disappointed’ that his Labor colleagues from the other states had excluded Western Australia; and

(b)   calls on the Prime Minister (Mr Rudd) to reprimand state and territory Labor Governments and the Leader of the Government in the Senate, or at least remind them, in the spirit of cooperative federalism, of the need to work cooperatively, including with the State of Western Australia.

Question put.