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Labor's contempt for Senate exposed.

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Minister for Justice and Customs Manager of Government Business in the Senate Senator for Western Australia

E174/05 8 December 2005

Labor’s contempt for Senate exposed

The Labor Party today demonstrated its total failure as an Opposition by moving to suspend standing orders during question time in the Senate, the Manager of Government Business in the Senate, Senator Chris Ellison said.

“The shutting down of question time demonstrates that, rather than fulfilling its role as an Opposition and holding the Government to account, Labor is more interested in performing political stunts,” Senator Ellison said.

Senator Ellison said it was not normal practice to suspend standing orders during question time in the Senate to bring on a censure motion.

He said Labor had an opportunity to do this on Wednesday when there was adequate time.

“Once again Labor has forgone an opportunity to debate matters of substance, preferring instead to waste time on matters of procedure.

“Labor’s behaviour today has exposed their contempt for the Parliament and the Australian people.”

Senator Ellison said the Australian Democrats too were hypocritical in their criticism of the Government.

“The greatest number of Bills Guillotined in the Senate occurred on 16 June 1992 when Labor, with the Democrats’ support, subjected 57 Bills to the Guillotine.”

The reality is, the Hawke and Keating Governments, with the support of the Democrats, Guillotined legislation through the Senate 221 times, while the Government, in 9 years, has used it only 93 times, he said.

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