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Tuesday, 30 August 2016
Page: 9

Mr BURKE (WatsonManager of Opposition Business) (11:34): Mr Speaker, congratulations! Whether your term is for three years, as the Leader of the House said, or for a different period for this parliament, we congratulate you. I want to note that the fact you were elected unopposed was deliberate. The opposition from time to time does put forward candidates; we did not in this situation quite deliberately. It is fair to say that since you took the chair the debate that has gone on in this chamber has been about the issues before the parliament rather than the procedure of the parliament. That is exactly what the chamber is here for and you have facilitated that. As well as managing the House, it will also fall to you as Speaker, given the issues that are already running, to have the role of someone defending the privileges of the parliament. We certainly trust that this House will defend parliamentary privilege as robustly as the Senate does.

Finally, the Leader of the Opposition in his comments made reference to the 'struts and frets' line in Macbeth in terms of the players here. There is something eerily familiar about that for the second term of this government. Shakespeare's tragedies run for five acts, so I will start this term by saying, 'Mr Speaker, welcome to act 4.' We look forward to it unfolding.