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Howard government hypocrisy on parliamentary standards.

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ROGER PRICE MP Federal Member for Chifley

MEDIA RELEASE 3rd November 2005


Federal Chifley MP Roger Price has accused the Howard Government of traducing the standards of Parliament, by attempting to ram its industrial relations changes through without any scrutiny or proper debate.

Mr Price made the comments during a heated adjournment debate in the House of Representatives last night.

The Government introduced the bills to the House yesterday, but failed to make copies of the bill and the explanatory memorandum available to all Labor members, as is the custom.

Copies were finally provided after Labor protests.

“I’m sure the majority of Government Members won’t bother reading the bill before it is debated, but Labor Members want to see the detail,” Mr Price said later.

“There are 1252 pages in the bill and the explanatory memorandum and yet the Government expects an informed debate to commence less than 24 hours after the legislation is introduced.”

A transcript of Mr Price’s adjournment debate speech is listed below.

Mr PRICE (Chifley) (7.59 p.m.)—The member for Mitchell knows the conventions of this place. Legislation is introduced one week so members can look at it—the opposition can look at it—and it is debated the next week. You were going to bring in this bill on one day and debate it the very same day, just as you did with the Telstra privatisation bills. You are a disgrace in doing that. Even the Prime Minister says these are massive changes. Why should the members of parliament not have the o p p o r t u n i t y t o e x a m i n e t h e l e g i s l a t i o n ? T h e b e s t w e h a v e d o n e i s t o h a v e i t

introduced today and then debated tomorrow. Do not say that is a proper process of scrutiny, accountability and transparency. You came into power saying you wanted higher standards and you traduced them. You traduced them by your arrogance and your actions, and let everyone listening know the truth.

For more information contact Darren Flynn on (02) 9625 4344 or 0417 416 144.