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senate vote 2019-07-22#7

Edited by mackay

on 2020-08-21 11:35:44


  • Business Rearrangement
  • Business - Rearrangement - Let a vote happen


  • <p class="speaker">Penny Wong</p>
  • <p>I understand that the government, having now finished what was not a particularly controversial piece of legislation, is proposing to move to the address in reply. Can I indicate to the crossbench that the reason the government has no legislation to present to us is that it is engaged in a political stoush in the House of Representatives because it wants to bring on the abolition of the Building Australia Fund. In these circumstances we don't think the Senate should be hanging around, so I seek leave to move that the Senate do now adjourn.</p>
  • <p>Leave not granted.</p>
  • The majority voted against a motion moved by SA Senator [Penny Wong]( (Labor) to suspend the usual procedural rules - known as [standing orders]( - to let a vote happen.
  • ### Motion text
  • > *That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent me moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a matter, namely a motion to give precedence to a motion for the adjournment of the Senate.*
  • <p>We can either have a short&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="italic">Senator Ruston interjecting&#8212;</p>
  • <p>I'll take that interjection by Senator Ruston. I'm not proposing to discuss with you when your Prime Minister, so-called, is in the House of Representatives negating the adjournment because he wants a political wedge, and therefore you have no legislation in the Senate. It's ridiculous. I can either move to suspend standing orders, or we can seek leave to have a number of short statements to deal with this issue. What would you like to do, Senator Ruston?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Anne Ruston</p>
  • <p>I denied leave, so do whatever you want.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Penny Wong</p>
  • <p>On that basis, pursuant to contingent notice of motion, I move that so much of standing orders be suspended so as to enable me to move a motion seeking that the Senate do now adjourn. Speaking to the suspension of standing orders motion, and to enable a discussion with the crossbench&#8212;I know that Centre Alliance, for possibly quite principled reasons, always say that the government ought to be able to run their own legislative agenda. I just say this: the government doesn't have a legislative agenda in the Senate. It's the Monday of this sitting week, and we have the government saying, 'Guess what? We have run out of legislation in the Senate. We want to go to the address-in-reply.' It's the same old tried and true delaying tactic that governments use when they have to fill Senate chamber time. They've already gone to that at 8.25 pm on the Monday night of the sitting week. What is the government's agenda? Where is the government's agenda? The government doesn't have an agenda for the Senate. Do you know why? Because you've just spent the day in the House of Representatives trying to gain a wedge on the Labor Party to abolish the Building Australia Fund, because you want to talk about drought. You've had a situation where the Prime Minister is so focused on playing politics that he hasn't even wanted to allow the shadow cabinet to meet to determine a position. He hasn't wanted to allow the caucus to meet to determine a position. He's so desperate to make sure he gets a political wedge up, and you come in here and, so embarrassingly, don't have any legislation for the Senate that you have to go to the address-in-reply at 8.25 pm on the Monday night of a sitting week. What are we all doing? We're all sitting here waiting for Mr Morrison to get the votes through the House of Representatives, which he hasn't got as yet, on legislation to abolish the Building Australia Fund because he wants to try and wedge the Labor Party on drought.</p>
  • <p>If you ever wanted an example of a government that doesn't have an agenda, you have it now. You have it with Senator Ruston sitting here saying, 'You do what you want, Senator Wong, because we don't have any legislation. I've got an address-in-reply I want to get in. That's what I want to do because I want delay tactics, as the government manager, as long as possible.' Here is Senator Cormann. He's coming in to make up an agenda. You're on to the address-in-reply at 8.25 on a Monday night because you haven't got any legislation. I say the Senate should adjourn until you've got an agenda to debate. The reason you haven't got an agenda today is because you've been so focused on playing politics in the lower house and you haven't got any legislation through. You could have put legislation through the lower house today. But you haven't. Instead you've chosen to delay because you want a political debate on the Building Australia Fund abolition. That is entirely what is occurring.</p>
  • <p>So I say to the crossbench&#8212;I don't know where Senator Patrick is; hopefully he is somewhere in this building. Senator Griff is here. Senator Griff, I shouldn't address you in a partisan way, but I would ask that the Centre Alliance party consider this. You have, on a principled basis, asserted that the government has the right to its legislative agenda. I understand that. At times I haven't agreed with it, but as a principle I recognise it, and we have generally recognised a similar convention, frankly. They haven't got one. They want to go to the address-in-reply because they don't have any more legislation for this chamber.</p>
  • <p>It's another example of the fact that this government has nothing positive to say. All they are interested in is trying to wedge the Australian Labor Party. Well, they won the election and the time for simply engaging in partisan politics I would have thought is over. The time for governing is here. That's not governing. It's Monday night and they want us all to sit around debating the address-in-reply because they don't have any legislation. Well, I say that the Senate should be provided with legislation. I say that if they can't give us legislation to debate on the Monday night that it's not like it's Wednesday or Thursday; if you can't give us legislation to debate on a Wednesday or Thursday night then let's adjourn the Senate. Everybody knows that moving to the address-in-reply is simply a concession that you have nothing to say.</p>
  • <p class="italic">Senator Cormann interjecting&#8212;</p>
  • <p>It's simply a concession that you have nothing to say! The fact is that the government is saying this on a Monday night, and if anybody wanted an example of the Morrison government not having a political agenda then, ladies and gentlemen, you have it here in the Australian Senate tonight! Monday night, 8:25 pm, and they're are already onto the address-in-reply. They've got no legislation&#8212;<i>(Time expired)</i></p>
  • <p class="speaker">Mathias Cormann</p>
  • <p>The arrogance of the Labor Party is breathtaking! The disrespect of the Australian Labor Party for the Australian people is breathtaking. The Labor Party clearly still does not respect the verdict of the Australian people at the election.</p>
  • <p>They are so arrogant that they think that somehow the Australian people got it wrong. They are so arrogant that they can't get used to the fact that they are still sitting on the opposition benches. Here they are! We want to ensure that we can look after farmers in drought-stricken communities. We want to ensure that we can provide additional support for regional communities in drought affected areas in a fiscally sustainable fashion. And what are they doing? They are playing political games! They are hurting so much about the fact that the Australian people denied them their God-given right to govern! They still can't believe the fact that the Australian people made such a terrible misjudgement&#8212;in their view&#8212;that they chose our plan for a stronger economy and for more jobs, and our agenda for lower taxes for aspiration and for opportunity against their agenda of higher taxes and the politics of envy and of class warfare, which the Australian people know would have made our country weaker, would have made the economy weaker and would have left every Australian worse off.</p>
  • <p>In the last sitting week they had more positions on tax than in the <i>Kama Sutra</i>. I'll say it again! They went to the election campaigning for $387 billion in higher taxes, which would have harmed our country, which would have harmed working families around Australia and which would have left every Australian worse off.</p>
  • <p>They should be ashamed of themselves for the stance they are trying to pull in the Senate here tonight. They should be absolutely ashamed! The Australian people will rightly condemn them for the stance they're pulling tonight because this is only about one thing: this is about the Labor Party trying to prevent the Australian parliament from dealing with another important coalition reform, which is to provide additional support for farmers and for rural communities in a way that is affordable and sustainable in the budget.</p>
  • <p>They are so arrogant and so disrespectful of the Australian people; it is breathtaking. Guess what? The Australian people made a considered judgement. The Australian people looked at their agenda of higher taxes, of sneering at the top end of town, of the politics of envy and turning Australian against Australian, and they decided they didn't want it. Get used to it! They decided that they didn't want it, so get used to it. They voted for our agenda to support aspiration and to support hardworking families wanting to get ahead. That is why they appreciate the fact that the Australian Senate in the last sitting week voted for our plan for lower income taxes in full.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Penny Wong</p>
  • <p>Where's your legislation, Mathias?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Mathias Cormann</p>
  • <p>Here we've got Senator Wong complaining, very disrespectfully and very arrogantly, about the fact that we are suggesting that we also deal with the address-in-reply. Well, do you know what? Again, it's more positions than in the <i>Kama Sutra</i>. In the last parliament, Senator Wong complained about the fact that it took us so long to deal with the address-in-reply, so here we are. We're from the government. We're here to help. We're here to be accommodating. We say: Senator Wong is keen for us to deal swiftly with the address-in-reply, so we are accommodating that by bringing it on and making appropriate time available.</p>
  • <p>It is actually arrogant and disrespectful to suggest that it is somehow a bad sign that the government has respect for our constitutional arrangement, for the Governor-General and for, of course, the importance of the address-in-reply in our constitutional arrangement. For you to come in here and suggest that that somehow is a sign of not having an agenda is incredibly disrespectful and a new low from the Australian Labor Party. Anybody who listened to the Governor-General's address to this chamber and to the parliament would have heard very clearly about the extensive agenda that this government has in this parliament&#8212;an extensive agenda to build a stronger economy, to create more jobs, to ensure that the Australian people have the best possible opportunity to get ahead and to ensure that the Australian people are safe and secure.</p>
  • <p>The Australian Labor Party need to decide whose side they're on. Whose side are you on in the Australian Labor Party? I mean, here you are suggesting that you're going to stand up for foreign terrorist fighters. Here you are suggesting that you're going to stop working families around Australia from getting more of their own money into their pockets. What are the priorities of the Labor Party under Mr Albanese? I thought it was bad when Mr Shorten was the leader of the Labor Party. Let me tell you: I never thought it could get worse. Well, it has. <i>(Time expired)</i></p>
  • <p class="speaker">Murray Watt</p>
  • <p>As my children sometimes say: how embarrassment. How embarrassment that we can't even make it to the end of the second sitting day of this new term before this government runs out of an agenda. They've got not one piece of legislation ready to go. You can just imagine Senator Cormann's office this afternoon. They've worked out that they're going to run out of legislation by about 8.30 tonight&#8212;two hours before we're actually supposed to wind up on the second sitting day of the entire term. They've thought, 'Oh, jeez, we better get something organised&#8212;we better send out an email.' So they've got an email out to Senator Paterson, Senator Stoker, Senator McKenzie and the others saying: 'Jeez, guys, can you write up a speech? We've run out of legislation to talk about. We need you to get up and blabber on for 20 minutes each just to filibuster until we can get through to tomorrow.' What's going to happen tomorrow? You know what: tomorrow you haven't got to fill two hours&#8212;you've got to fill an entire day! You won't have a hope! Should we just call off parliament by about, what, two o'clock tomorrow afternoon? You will have completely run out of stuff.</p>
  • <p>If you haven't got legislation ready to debate here tonight, what gives us any confidence that we should remain here for the rest of the week? I've travelled here from Queensland and Senator Wong's come from South Australia. Senator Pratt and Senator Dodson are here. It takes Senator Dodson three days to get here! He's ready to debate legislation. You guys can't get your act together to have more than a couple of bills that everyone agrees with. What this shows, once and for all, is that this government did not expect to win the last election and has no agenda whatsoever for this third term. They are a tired, third-term government out of ideas and without an agenda. They had one idea that they took to the election, being tax cuts. They got that done last week, and now they're out of things to do.</p>
  • <p>You know what? There's actually a lot of issues that the Australian public would like to see this government deal with. Let's start with wages. Wages under this government are barely rising. How about you introduce some legislation to reverse your penalty rate cuts? That might be a good start. How about you give a few more powers to the regulator to stop all the rampant wage theft we're seeing around the place? I'll give you a whole batch of private members' bills that I'm happy to stay back and debate. In fact, I'll move to extend hours if you want to!</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Mathias Cormann</p>
  • <p>Done!</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Murray Watt</p>
  • <p>No, that's a theoretic possibility. I'm saying, hypothetically&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Scott Ryan</p>
  • <p>Order!</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Murray Watt</p>
  • <p>You know what I'm saying!</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Scott Ryan</p>
  • <p>Order! Senator Watt, I have a point of order from Senator Cormann. Senator Cormann, on a point of order.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Mathias Cormann</p>
  • <p>I use my contingent motion to move a motion to suspend standing orders in order to facilitate a motion to give effect to what Senator Watt just indicated. Oh, you're now running for the hills, are you?</p>
  • <p class='motion-notice motion-notice-truncated'>Long debate text truncated.</p>