No 17

 

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

 

OF THE

 

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

 

____________

 

 

WEDNESDAY 10 FEBRUARY 1999

 

 

1       Meeting of House

         The House met pursuant to adjournment.  The Speaker (Hon J K G Oswald) took the Chair and read prayers.

 

2       Speaker’s statement – Privilege

         The Speaker made the following statement:

         Before the House rose in December last year the Deputy Leader of the Opposition asked me a question without notice requesting that I make a statement to the House on how I intended dealing with any future matters of privilege.

         Firstly, it is unlikely that there would be any two matters of privilege which are the same and will be dealt with in the same way.

         The principal and only role of the Chair is to determine, in the Chair's eyes, whether the matter raised as a matter of privilege under S.O. 132 is a legitimate allegation for referral to the House and whether it warrants suspension of the consideration of all other questions and motions on the Notice Paper until the matter of privilege has been decided upon.

         It is the Chair's objective to bring down a ruling at the earliest opportunity and if possible on the same day. That will depend on the circumstances, e.g. bearing in mind that the Hansard pull is available within the hour it may be possible to give an almost immediate response if the statements made are straight forward and easily connected, or, it may require verifying and cross checking back issues of the Hansard, and depending on the time of the day, the Chair may choose to report to the House the next day.

         On one occasion late last year, although the issue appeared complex, the Chair was able to report to the House immediately that it believed a matter touching on privilege existed and to expedite a debate. This was made possible because I had had prior warning of the Member's intention and as the facts put forward in his argument to the House did not materially change from when the issue was raised earlier in the day outside the House, the Chair had sufficient hours notice to verify the statements and to rule accordingly.

         Once I have formed a view I believe I have an obligation to acquaint the House of that view as soon as possible and if it is a matter of privilege to give the House the opportunity to bring on a debate and to decide how it wishes to deal with the matter.

         It should be noted that any Member can always bypass the Speaker, when raising matters of alleged breach of privilege if they wish, by seeking a Suspension of Standing Orders that would allow the House to debate an urgent matter. I offered the House this course of action once last year on an occasion when I did not concur that a breach of privilege existed.


 

         The Chair remains concerned at the perception by some Members that I am required to conduct some sort of magisterial inquiry and call for and consider certain evidence, and then rule if a prima facie case exists against the accused when giving my response. The taking and consideration of evidence is not the role of the Speaker, but for the House itself or if one is set up, a Privileges Committee.

         In summary my course of action remains as follows.

         First is to determine whether the matter raised is a matter of privilege and then at the earliest opportunity to advise the House.

         Secondly, if I have ruled that a matter of privilege is involved then to invite the Member making the allegation to move a suitably worded motion which will allow the House to decide the matter, including if it chooses referral to a Privileges Committee.

         Thirdly, if in my view no matter of privilege is involved, to afford the opportunity for the Member to give a notice of motion in the normal way.

         So that I do not further delay the House, I refer Members to the many privilege rulings I made during 1998 and which are recorded in the Hansard rather than re‑reading them to the Chamber. I believe that Members will find them consistent with what I have said this afternoon, however, if any Members remain concerned about S.O. 132 as it applies to this House then I would suggest referral of the matter to the Standing Orders Committee with an appropriate submission.

         Finally can I say to the House that without in anyway diminishing the need to protect your privileges, without which the House cannot function effectively, there have been more matters of privilege raised already in the short 14 month life of this Parliament than in the previous 5 or 6 years.

         While a number of these have involved allegations of misleading the House, I remind Members that the principle established at Westminster is of deliberate misleading. In this age of information technology any Member will need to think very carefully before commenting twice on the same subject for fear of being tripped up by contradictory remarks.

         I note that in more than one case last year the alleged misleading statements under which a breach of privilege was claimed, ranged between weeks and years apart and I am concerned that if the test becomes "contradiction", rather than as the result of a wilful action, none of us can feel safe in the future. Avoiding, contradiction itself is more a matter about efficiency and competence than of breaching privilege and being accused of misleading the House.

         Political strategies tend to be cyclical and I conclude by saying that historically most of the allegations which have been raised over the past 14 months would once have proceeded by way of vigorous questioning, culminating in a censure or no‑confidence motion. I encourage Members to return to that path.

 

3       Questions

         Questions without notice were asked.


 

4       Legislative Review Committee - Reports – Sixth and Seventh

         Mr Condous brought up the Sixth Report of the Committee.

         Report received and read as follows:

         The Regulations listed hereunder are at present being considered by the Legislative Review Committee. Evidence is being taken on these matters and it is necessary for Notices of Motion for Disallowance to be given in both Houses before the expiration of 14 sitting days to allow the Committee time to complete its deliberations.

         Honourable Members are warned that after further consideration has been given to the Regulations, the Committee may decide to take further action.

         Regulations referred to:

              No 56 Local Government Act 1934 – Superannuation Board – Rules – Shares and Securities

              No 58 Racing Act 1976 – Harness Racing Authority – Rules – Alcohol and Drug Testing.

 

         Mr Condous brought up the Seventh Report of the Committee.

         Report received.

 

5       Grievance debate

         The Speaker proposed - That the House note grievances.

         Debate ensued.

         Question put and passed.

 

6       Postponement of business

         Ordered - That Notices of Motion: Standing Committees Reports Nos 1 to 5 be Notices of Motion for Wednesday 17 February.

 

7       Postponement of business

         Ordered - That Orders of the Day: Standing Committees Reports Nos 1 to 3 be Orders of the Day for Wednesday 17 February.

 

8       Postponement of business

         Ordered - That Notice of Motion: Government Business No 1 be postponed and taken into consideration after Notice of Motion: Government Business No 7.

 

9       Manufacturing Industries Protection Act Repeal Bill

         The Minister for Government Enterprises (Hon M H Armitage), pursuant to notice, moved - That he have leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to repeal the Manufacturing Industries Protection Act 1937.

         Question put and passed.

 

         Bill presented and read a first time.

         The Minister moved - That this Bill be now read a second time.

         Ordered, on motion of Ms Hurley, that the debate be adjourned until tomorrow.

 

10      Racing (Deduction from Totalizator Bets) Amendment Bill

         The Minister for Government Enterprises, pursuant to notice, moved - That he have leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Racing Act 1976.

         Question put and passed.

 

         Bill presented and read a first time.

         The Minister moved - That this Bill be now read a second time.

         Ordered, on motion of Ms Hurley, that the debate be adjourned until tomorrow.


 

11      Postponement of business

         Ordered - That Notice of Motion: Government Business No 4 be a Notice of Motion for tomorrow.

 

12      Shearers Accommodation Act Repeal Bill

         The Minister for Government Enterprises, pursuant to notice, moved - That he have leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to repeal the Shearers Accommodation Act 1975.

         Question put and passed.

 

         Bill presented and read a first time.

         The Minister moved - That this Bill be now read a second time.

         Ordered, on motion of Ms Hurley, that the debate be adjourned until tomorrow.

 

13      Parliamentary Superannuation (Establishment of Fund) Amendment Bill

         The Minister for Education, Children’s Services and Training (Hon M R Buckby), pursuant to notice, moved - That he have leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Parliamentary Superannuation Act 1974 and to make a consequential amendment to the Superannuation Funds Management Corporation of South Australia Act 1995.

         Question put and passed.

 

         Bill presented and read a first time.

         The Minister moved - That this Bill be now read a second time.

         Ordered, on motion of Ms White, that the debate be adjourned until tomorrow.

 

14      Stamp Duties (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill

         The Minister for Education, Children’s Services and Training, pursuant to notice, moved - That he have leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Stamp Duties Act 1923.

         Question put and passed.

 

         Bill presented and read a first time.

         The Minister moved - That this Bill be now read a second time.

         Ordered, on motion of Mr Foley, that the debate be adjourned until tomorrow.

 

15      Jobs Workshops Summary - Motion to note

         Notice of Motion: Government Business No 1 read.

 

         Suspension of Standing Orders

         The Deputy Premier (Hon R G Kerin), pursuant to contingent notice, moved - That Standing Order 113 be so far suspended as to allow the following time limits to apply to the motion –

              Premier, 30 minutes

              Leader of the Opposition, 30 minutes

              One Member nominated by the Premier, 20 minutes

              One Member nominated by the Leader of the Opposition, 20 minutes

              Any other Member, 10 minutes

         Question put and passed.

 

         The Premier (Hon J W Olsen) moved – That the Summary of the South Australian Jobs Workshops be noted.

 

         Debate ensued.


 

16      Extension of time for adjournment

         The Deputy Premier moved - That the time for moving the adjournment of the House be extended beyond 10.00 pm.

         Question put and passed.

 

17      Jobs Workshops Summary - Motion to note

         Debate (interrupted by the foregoing) resumed.

         Ordered, on motion of Mr Atkinson, that the debate be adjourned and resumed on motion.

 

18      Suspension of Standing Orders

         The Minister for Local Government (Hon M K Brindal) without notice, moved - That Standing Orders be so far suspended as to enable the House to sit beyond midnight.

         Question put and passed, without a negative voice, there being an absolute majority of the whole number of Members of the House.

 

19      Jobs Workshops Summary - Motion to note

         Ordered - That the adjourned debate on the motion of the Premier – That the Summary of the South Australian Jobs workshop be noted - be now resumed.

         Debate resumed.

____________

 

It being Midnight

THURSDAY 11 FEBRUARY 1999

____________

 

         Question put and passed.

 

20      Adjournment

         House adjourned at 12.04 am. until today at 10.30 am.

____________

 

MOTIONS OF WHICH NOTICE WAS GIVEN

 

         For Thursday 11 February 1999

 

Notices of Motion: Private Members Bills/ Committees/ Regulations –

 

         Mr Condous  to move – That the Regulations made under the Local Government Act 1934 relating to Shares and Securities, gazetted on 29 October 1998 and laid on the Table of this House on 3 November 1998, be disallowed.

 

         Mr Condous  to move – That the Regulations made under the Racing Act 1976 relating to Alcohol and Drug Testing, gazetted on 5 November 1998 and laid on the Table of this House on 7 November 1998, be disallowed.

____________

 

         Present during the day - All Members except Mr Clarke.

 

 

 

                                                                                                            J K G Oswald

                                                                                                            SPEAKER

 

G D Mitchell

CLERK OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY