Government Performance Parliament

Business of the House - Vacancy

15 September 2016

Adjournment - Business of the House

Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) — I rise to support the manager of opposition business in his opposition to the adjournment of the house. In doing that, I suppose we can give a bit of latitude to the members for Essendon and Macedon for their contributions because they are on training wheels and they do not actually understand the difference between the two houses. The upper house actually has control of its own destiny when it comes to the issue of Mr Jennings. I do not think there is any latitude available to the member for Ivanhoe for the absolute rubbish he just spoke about in this place.

The upper house had a very clear process: they debated at length and over a considerable period of time the issue of Mr Jennings and the production of certain papers that the upper house were requiring him to present. That was a very lengthy debate, and democracy in the upper house was worked through in that particular process. A decision was made by the upper house to suspend Mr Jennings because he would not produce those papers. There is a process in the upper house that is available to Mr Jennings to resolve these issues — that is, by actually sending the documents that are being sought to an independent arbiter to make a decision about what should be tabled and what should not be tabled. There is a very clear process available in the upper house for the resolution of this matter.

Mr Pearson interjected.

Mr WALSH — We listen to the member for Essendon ranting, ‘Give us back our leader!’. Well, the stupid fool up there can solve this by giving it to the independent arbiter.

The SPEAKER — Order! The Leader of The Nationals will come to order. The Leader of The Nationals, through the Chair, will continue on the subject matter.

Mr WALSH — The leader of the upper house can very clearly solve this issue by putting those documents to the independent arbiter to determine what can be tabled up there. That is a very different process — and one that can be solved — to that of the joint sitting to appoint Mr O’Sullivan. We have listened to the absolute rubbish that has been talked about by those on the other side of the chamber on why we cannot have a joint sitting to put Mr O’Sullivan in. They say it is because they want the leader back again, and that is a totally separate issue.

Mr Pakula interjected.

The SPEAKER — Order! The Attorney‑General will come to order. The Leader of The Nationals will continue in silence.

Mr WALSH — The two are two totally distinct things. Every speaker on that side of the house has tried to join the two together, and that just shows how ignorant they are of parliamentary processes and the difference between the two chambers. I do not think they actually understand how it all works when they say that we on this side of the chamber in the Legislative Assembly can somehow compel the upper house to change their particular process.

Can I say in supporting the manager of opposition business in opposing the adjournment of the house that we should hold a joint sitting today so that Mr O’Sullivan can be sworn in. It is not too late for those on the other side, particularly the Leader of the House on the other side of the table here, to actually admit that there should be a joint sitting, the constitution should be upheld and Mr O’Sullivan should be sworn in later this day so that this issue can be resolved. The upper house will manage its process with Mr Jennings, as is its place to do, and the ball is very clearly in Mr Jennings’s court to actually sit down and work with the independent arbiter about what papers should or should not be tabled in the upper house. There is a process — —

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! Government members will allow the Leader of The Nationals to continue in silence.

Mr WALSH — There is a very clear process up there — —

Mr Pakula interjected.

The SPEAKER — Order! The Attorney‑General will come to order. The Leader of The Nationals, to continue.

Mr WALSH — There is a very clear process up there for Mr Jennings to resolve this issue totally separately to the need to have a joint sitting, and I urge the house to support the Leader of the Opposition so that there is a joint sitting later this day.


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