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Thursday, 25 June 2009
Page: 4283

Senator CONROY (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) (11:09 AM) —Mr President, I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT —Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator CONROY —I just wanted to respond to some of those complete furphies that Senator Parry has just put on the record. This chamber has been turned into a farce by the lack of management of that man. Because you are so split, you have not got a clue what you are going to do on this bill.

The PRESIDENT —Senator Conroy, your comments should be addressed to the chair and not across the chamber.

Senator CONROY —I accept your admonishment, Mr President. Senator Parry thinks he is actually in charge of this chamber. He thinks he can avoid having to face up to the massive divisions on that side of the chamber on this bill. If you are so concerned, bring it on; have the vote. It really is quite embarrassing to watch the contortions you are going through in embarrassing yourself to protect your colleagues. Let the sceptics loose; let them out! Let us have the vote. Let Barnaby have his vote. You want debate, you want a vote: bring it on!

The PRESIDENT —Senator Conroy, if you are referring to other senators you need to refer to them by their correct titles and you should address your comments to the chair.

Senator CONROY —I know exactly how I am going to vote. Do you?

Opposition senators interjecting—

Senator CONROY —Well then, come on, bring on the vote. This chamber has been turned into a farce all week because Senator Minchin cannot control his own troops and Senator Parry has not got a clue what he is doing in trying to manage the chamber.

Honourable senators interjecting—

The PRESIDENT —Order! Resume your seat. When I have silence I will ask you to continue. Senator Forshaw, you have a point of order?

Senator Forshaw —Mr President, I am actually tempted to seek leave to make a short statement about people seeking leave to make short statements. But I would ask you to draw to the attention of those senators in the opposition who are constantly interjecting that they should at least do so from their own seats.

Honourable senators interjecting—

The PRESIDENT —Order! When there is silence we will proceed. Senator Conroy.

Senator CONROY —All we have to do is actually have the bill brought before us. Bring the bill on, have the vote. What are you afraid of? Why are you turning the Senate into a complete farce—thinking that you are in charge to determine the government’s order of bills and business and times? You think you are in government still. You have not got over the fact that you have lost. It is time that you woke up to yourselves. Bring the bill on, stop hiding your divisions and let us have the vote.