…gave them credit for. Because they’ve got
a very modest, very small… Mr Deputy Speaker there’s no member of the
executive present. The House is not in order. It must be shut down immediately.
Standing orders are very clear. There’s no member of the executive present
Mr Deputy Speaker. They can’t even run the Parliament!
I’ll just call the Clerk. There’s no member of the executive present.
He wasn’t here Mr Deputy Speaker. He was not here.
Mr Deputy Speaker, a point of order. I made a point of order several moments ago, there
was no member of the executive present. He was outside. The House should have been shut
down at that moment. At that very moment Mr Deputy Speaker. He can’t buy time to allow
the member to wander back into the House. You were not here. You were outside. Everybody
saw it. You were not present, you wandered away.
The Member for McMahon will be seated for a second. I’ve referred to the Clerk and the
Clerk has advised me to continue with proceedings. I call the Member for McMahon.
Point of order! There was no member of the executive present. It was very clear, we all
saw him outside! He was not in the chamber. He can not now claim he was magically here
the whole time. The Member for McMahon will be seated again.
I’ve referred to the Clerk, the Clerk has advised me to continue with proceedings.
I raised a point of order. With respect to the Clerk, I did not raise the point of order
to the clerk I raised it to you. You should have ruled on my point of order at that moment.
You did not. You gave the Honorable Member time to wander back into the Chamber when
he was not physically present. The Member for McMahon will be seated. I did
seek advice and I have made my ruling. Deputy Speaker, a point of order.
Manager of Opposition Business. One of the most serious parts of our entire
system is how this House operates, is that we have representative Government. That means
unlike the systems in many other countries the executive must be present when the House
is sitting. Now the last thing we want to do is not have an MPI. But the reality is
if there was a moment here when there was no member of the executive present in the
House then it is your obligation to collapse the Chamber because the Government did not
turn up. Government backbenchers are not technically part of the Government as far as the standing
orders are concerned. Only members of the executive form the Government. If we had a
moment today when the House sat where no member of the executive of the Australian Government
was present then it is your personal responsibility, in that chair, to collapse the House because
we do not have a Parliament if we don’t have a Government willing to show.
I thank the Manager of Opposition Business. I take your point of order. I referred to
the Clerk and I have made my ruling. I call the Member for McMahon.
The Manager of Opposition Business, I refer you to standing order on page 262, standard
practice sorry. The absence of a Minister does state that it is, of course, desirable
from the Government’s point of view and expected by members that there should be a member present
able to react with authority on behalf of the Government to any unexpected development.
So while it is desirable I have referred to the Clerk and I have made my ruling. I call
the Member for McMahon. Yes, the Manager of Opposition Business.
Mr Deputy Speaker, to the point of order. I call the Manager of Opposition Business.
Okay, thank you, Deputy Speaker. I’d simply ask you to read to the end of the paragraph
in which you quoted, which refers to your predecessors on occasion, this happens very
rarely, ringing the bells to secure a Minister’s attendance. Which means stopping the Parliament.
Now, you chose to allow the Parliament to continue without someone present. That ought
not to have happened. Well, I also refer the Manager of Opposition
Business to the statement there that the assured absence of a minister may go unremarked.
I call the assistant Minister to the Treasurer.
Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker. You’ve clearly made a ruling and unless the Leader
of Opposition Business wants to continue to argue the point at the dispatch box I think
the MPI must continue. I call the Manager of Opposition Business.
I simply ask what that was? He didn’t raise a point of order, he didn’t seek indulgence,
you simply gave him the call during someone else’s time. If you’re not willing to chair
the House… (Leader of the House enters)
I will repeat my ruling where I referred to the Clerk, I’ve called it and I call the Member
for McMahon if he wants to continue with the MPI.
Well, what an incompetent Government Mr Speaker. House Duty is not that complicated Mr Deputy
Speaker. You sit in a chair and when you are not here, you admit you weren’t here. This
is a minister who couldn’t even admit he wasn’t here! Couldn’t even admit it. Couldn’t even
have the decency, the honour to say sorry I got it wrong, I forgot to sit in the chair,
Mr Deputy Speaker. It was such a complicated task I had at hand. I didn’t know what to
do. Says a lot about this Government, one job Michael over here, this is one of the
economic team. No wonder the economic plan of the Government is failing Mr Deputy Speaker.
One of the Government’s economic team, one of the so-called brains trust can’t even get
House duty right. And that’s what we see, more and more is the fact that this Government
is incompetent at every level. No wonder Pauline Hanson is running the show, Mr Deputy Speaker.
Now as I was saying before I was interrupted by the absence of a Government minister, Mr
Deputy Speaker. As I was saying, I confess, I was surprised when the Government allegedly
got a deal with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party, to pass the big business tax cuts for
the price of a small apprenticeships program. It turns out I should have been surprised
because it wasn’t the case! It wasn’t the case. They had billions of dollars worth of
deals they just won’t tell us what they are! The Member’s time has expired. I call the
Assistant Minister to the Treasurer. Mr Deputy Speaker…