No 27

 

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

 

OF THE

 

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

 

____________

 

 

THURSDAY 2 JULY 1998

 

 

1       Meeting of House

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

 

2       Postponement of business

Ordered - That Notices of Motion: Private Members Bills/Committees/Regulations Nos 1 to 4 be Notices of Motion for Thursday next.

 

3       Employment Agents Registration (Fees) Amendment Bill

Mr Clarke, pursuant to notice, moved - That he have leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Employment Agents Registration Act 1993.

Question put and passed.

 

         Bill presented and read a first time.

         Mr Clarke moved - That this Bill be now read a second time.

         Ordered, on motion of Mr Meier, that the debate be adjourned until Thursday next.

 

4       Evidence (Sexual Offences) Amendment Bill

Mr Atkinson, pursuant to notice, moved - That he have leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Evidence Act 1929.

Question put and passed.

 

         Bill presented and read a first time.

         Mr Atkinson moved - That this Bill be now read a second time.

         Mr Meier moved – That the debate be adjourned.


         Question put.

         House divided (No 1).

 


                       Ayes, 25

 

Hon M H Armitage

Mr Brindal

Mr Brokenshire

Hon D C Brown

Hon M R Buckby

Mr Condous

Mr Evans

Hon G M Gunn

Mrs Hall

Mr Hamilton-Smith

Hon G A Ingerson

Hon R G Kerin

Hon D C Kotz

Mr Lewis

Hon W A Matthew

Ms Maywald

Mr McEwen

Hon J W Olsen

Mrs Penfold

Mr Scalzi

Hon R B Such

Mr Venning

Mr Williams

Hon D C Wotton

Mr Meier (Teller)


        Noes, 21

 

Ms Bedford

Ms Breuer

Ms Ciccarello

Mr Clarke

Mr Conlon

Mr De Laine

Mr Foley

Mrs Geraghty

Mr Hanna

Mr Hill

Ms Hurley

Ms Key

Mr Koutsantonis

Ms Rankine

Hon M D Rann

Mr Snelling

Ms Stevens

Ms Thompson

Ms White

Mr Wright

Mr Atkinson (Teller)


 

         So it was resolved in the affirmative.

 

         Ordered - That the adjourned debate be an Order of the Day for Thursday next.

 

5       Postponement of business

Ordered - That Notice of Motion: Private Members Bills/Committees/Regulations No 7 be a Notice of Motion for Thursday next.

 

6       Door-to-Door Sales (Employment of Children) Bill

Mrs Geraghty, pursuant to notice, moved - That she have leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to regulate the employment of children in door-to-door selling.

Question put and passed.

 

         Bill presented and read a first time.

         Mrs Geraghty moved - That this Bill be now read a second time.

Ordered, on motion of Mr Hamilton-Smith, that the debate be adjourned until Thursday next.

 

7       Postponement of business

Ordered - separately - That Orders of the Day: Private Members Bills/Committees/Regulations Nos 1 to 4 be Orders of the Day for Thursday next.

 

8       Criminal Law (Sentencing) (Victim Impact Statements) Amendment Bill

Order of the Day read for the adjourned debate on the question - That this Bill be now read a second time.

Debate resumed.

         Question put and passed.

 

         Bill read a second time.

 

 

In Committee

                                                Clause No 1 agreed to.

                                                Clause No 2 amended and agreed to.

                                                Title agreed to.

____________

 

         The House having resumed:

Hon D C Wotton reported that the Committee had considered the Bill referred to it and had agreed to the same with amendments.

 

         Bill read a third time and passed.

 

9       Postponement of business

Ordered - That Order of the Day: Private Members Bills/Committees/Regulations No 6 be an Order of the Day for Thursday next.

 

10      Education (Government School Closures) Amendment Bill

Order of the Day read for the adjourned debate on the question - That this Bill be now read a second time.

Debate resumed.

Ordered, on motion of Ms Thompson, by leave, that the debate be further adjourned until Thursday next.

____________

 

It being Midday, Notices of Motion: Other Motions were called on by the Clerk.

____________

 

11      Postponement of business

Ordered - That Notice of Motion: Other Motions No 1 be a Notice of Motion for Thursday next.

 

12      Federal Child Care Budget Cuts - Motion re

Order of the Day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of Ms White - That this House –

      (a)  condemns the Federal Government for cutting $1 billion from child care after three budgets;

      (b)  notes that this has forced an increase in fees for child care, closure of fourteen South Australian child care centres, the loss of an estimated 200 child care workers and has threatened the viability of many other child care services;

      (c)  expresses concern that as a result of the cuts, child care is no longer affordable for many families, that working parents have been disadvantaged and in some cases have to forego employment and study; and

      (d)  calls on the Federal Government to reinstate adequate funding to child care in South Australia.

         Debate resumed.

Ordered, on motion of Ms Thompson, that the debate be further adjourned until Thursday next.


13      Postponement of business

Ordered - separately - That Orders of the Day: Other Motions Nos 2 to 4 be Orders of the Day for Thursday next.

 

14      Royal Park Waste Facility Application - Motion re

Order of the Day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of Mr Wright - That this House calls on the Government to oppose the application by a private company to establish a waste transfer and re-cycling facility on the corner of Old Port Road and Tapleys Hill Road, Royal Park because:

(a)  the development would be inappropriately located in close proximity to a large number of homes;

(b)  the proposed development would have a huge negative and undesirable impact on the quality of life of the residents who live in this area;

(c)  the development would cause a drastic reduction to the value of peoples’ homes;

(d)  an industry of this type would cause significant problems for other nearby commercial operations.

         Debate resumed.

         Ordered, on motion of Mr Meier, that the debate be further adjourned until Thursday next.

 

15      Postponement of business

Ordered - That Order of the Day: Other Motions No 6 be an Order of the Day for Thursday next.

 

16      Citizenship Fee - Motion re

Order of the Day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of Mr Scalzi - That this House urge the Federal Government to waive the citizenship fee, as an act of goodwill, for people who have resided in Australia for twenty or more years in order that they may fully participate as Australians in the Centenary of Federation celebration in 2001.

Which Mr Wright has moved to amend by leaving out all the words after the word “fee” and to insert in lieu thereof the words, “in order that all eligible residents may fully participate as Australian citizens”.

         Debate resumed.

         Question – That the amendment be agreed to – put.


         House divided (No 2):

 


                       Ayes, 20

 

Mr Atkinson

Ms Bedford

Ms Breuer

Ms Ciccarello

Mr Clarke

Mr Conlon

Mr De Laine

Mr Foley

Mrs Geraghty

Mr Hanna

Mr Hill

Ms Hurley

Ms Key

Mr Koutsantonis

Hon M D Rann

Mr Snelling

Ms Stevens

Ms Thompson

Ms White

Mr Wright (Teller)


        Noes, 24

 

Hon M H Armitage

Mr Brindal

Mr Brokenshire

Hon D C Brown

Hon R B Buckby

Mr Condous

Mr Evans

Hon G M Gunn

Mrs Hall

Mr Hamilton-Smith

Hon G A Ingerson

Hon R G Kerin

Hon D C Kotz

Mr Lewis

Hon W A Matthew

Ms Maywald

Mr McEwen

Mr Meier

Mrs Penfold

Hon R B Such

Mr Venning

Mr Williams

Hon D C Wotton

Mr Scalzi (Teller)


 

         So it passed in the negative.

         Question – That the motion be agreed to – put and passed.

 

17      European Wasps - Motion re

Order of the Day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of Hon D C Wotton - That this House commends the Government on its decision to maintain funding to assist in the control of European wasps and also its commitment to further research issues relating to their eradication and urges the Government not to support the imposition on property owners of a removal fee for wasp nests as this could discourage people from reporting the presence of wasps and would therefore be to the detriment of the program.

Debate resumed.

The Minister for Local Government (Hon M K Brindal) moved to amend the motion by leaving out all the words after the word “eradication”.

Debate continued.

Ordered, on motion of Mr De Laine, that the debate be further adjourned until Thursday next.


18      National Farmers Federation - Labour Relations - Motion re

Order of the Day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of Mr Clarke - That this House condemns the Federal Liberal Government and the National Farmers Federation for their provocative approach to water front reforms in Australia, and in particular:

(a) their support for current and past serving members of the Australian Defence Forces to participate in an ill fated overseas strike breaking training exercise;

(b) their support for the conspiracy entered into between Patrick Stevedores and the National Farmers Federation front company to establish a union busting stevedoring company at Webb Dock, Victoria;

     and calls on the Federal Government and the National Farmers Federation to recognise that just and fairly negotiated settlements between management, unions and the workers involved can achieve more in terms of productivity and improved labour relations.

         Debate resumed.

         Ordered, on motion of Mr Meier, that the debate be further adjourned until Thursday next.

 

19      West Beach Boat Harbour - Motion re

Order of the Day read for the adjourned motion of Mr Hill - That this House –

   (a) calls on the Government to honour its commitments made on 11 December 1997 regarding the West Beach Boat Harbor and in particular that “an independent environmental consultant will also prepare an assessment for public release”;

   (b) condemns Liberal and Independent Members of the Public Works Committee for forcing a vote on the West Beach Harbor before considering the promised independent environmental report; and

   (c) expresses its opposition to the proposal to divert stormwater run-off through a pipeline into the Gulf at West Beach.

         Motion resumed.

         Ordered, on motion of Mr Meier, that the debate be adjourned until Thursday next.

 

20      Petition No 75

         The Clerk announced that the following Member had lodged a Petition for presentation:

 

75   Mrs Penfold, from 10 residents of South Australia, requesting that the House urge the Government to reconsider its decision to close Living Health and to ensure that existing sponsorships, currently funded by the tobacco tax, are maintained.

 

21      Speaker’s Statement – Privilege

         The Speaker made the following statement in relation to a matter of privilege:

        

Yesterday, the Leader raised the question as to whether the Deputy Premier misled Parliament on 18 June 1998 during the Estimates Committees deliberations and again, yesterday, 1 July 1998.

Before giving my ruling I would like to clear up any confusion about the Speaker’s role in these matters.  Simply stated, it is only to decide whether to give precedence to a motion which would then be put to the House, presumably alleging deliberate misleading of the House by the Minister. I emphasise the word deliberate.

Standing Order 132 provides that any question of privilege suspends all other business before the House until the matter is decided.  However, the practice has evolved, since at least the early 70’s, of the Speaker listening to an allegation, deliberating on it, and later giving a ruling on whether a prima facie case has been made out, and if so found, to give precedence to a motion.  This is what occurred on this occasion.

In arriving at a decision it is not my role on behalf of the House to form an opinion on whether the Minister did, or did not, or might or might not have misled the House.

 

Whether my decision is favourable or unfavourable, nothing should be read into that decision for precedence to suggest that I have formed a judgement about the allegation but merely that on the information contained in the Leader’s allegations there may be issues that are appropriate for the House to decide upon.

I stress so that no Member should feel threatened by this test, that the action of misleading the House must be deliberate rather than inadvertent.

In his allegations the Leader of the Opposition referred to questions addressed to the Minister by the Member for Hart both at Estimates on 18 June 1998 and again at question time yesterday in which the Leader claimed that the Minister had involved himself in the selection process for the choice of CEO of the South Australian Thoroughbred Racing Authority.

I note in the Hansard that the Member for Hart quoted from a letter from a Mr Rob Hodge which was accompanied by a statutory declaration sworn by Mr Hodge.

One of the sworn quotations from Mr Hodge in the Hansard referred to an article in The Advertiser 14 July 1997 and stated that ‘Following that story Mr Ingerson rang me between 10pm and 11pm. My wife answered the telephone and Mr Ingerson attempted to influence me about Mr Hill’s suitability as a CEO.  Following this volatile conversation we concluded the somewhat acrimonious discussion”.

A second quotation from the statutory declaration also appears in the Hansard claiming that on 25 June 1997 the Minister for Racing rang the Chairman of S.A.T.R.A expressing outrage at the S.A.T.R.A. decision and demanded that S.A.T.R.A. rescind its arrangements.

I notice in the Hansard quotes that the Minister both indicated that he was not formally involved and that he had had no involvement at all.

I have noted a quotation in the Hansard from a letter written by Mr Merv Hill on 26 June 1997 to his legal adviser.

I also have noted in the Minister’s statement to the House last night that he did convey information to Mr Hodge concerning Mr Hill’s appointment.

Whilst I presume that Honourable Members do not have in their possession copies of the Mr Hodge’s letter and statutory declaration the House is entitled to accept the veracity of the Member for Hart in his use of the quotations from the statutory declaration in the Hansard record.

Therefore given the contradiction between the two positions put down by Mr Hodge and the Minister I believe there may be enough substance in the allegation to warrant precedence being given to a motion allowing the House to determine how it wishes to proceed.

In coming to my decision I want to stress that I am in no way confirming the allegation, or adjudicating on whether the Minister has deliberately misled the House. That is for the House to decide.

If I may give guidance to the House, the question for it to resolve is whether the telephone conversations which took place constitute an “involvement” by the Minister in seeking to influence the S.A.T.R.A Board.

A second question to resolve is whether the House accepts the explanation given by the Minister last night or whether it wishes to enquire further into the matter.

I therefore give the call to the Leader of the Opposition.

 

         Privileges Committee – Motion re

The Leader of the Opposition (Hon M D Rann) moved – That this House establish a Privileges Committee to investigate whether the Deputy Premier has misled the House in relation to matters related to his activities as Minister for Racing, that the Committee shall operate under the guidelines for a select committee of this House, that the Committee shall prepare a report of their investigations for the consideration of this House by 30 September 1998 and shall have the power to send for persons, papers and records and to adjourn from place to place.

Debate ensued.

Mr McEwen moved to leave out the words “by 30 September 1998” and insert in lieu thereof the words “within 21 days”.

Debate resumed.

Question – That the amendment be agreed to – put and passed.

Question – That the motion as amended be agreed to – put and passed.

 

Privileges Committee

Ordered – That a Committee be appointed consisting of the Minister for Local Government (Hon M K Brindal), Mr Conlon, Mr Foley, Hon G M Gunn and Mr McEwen.

 

22      Questions

         Questions without notice were asked.

 

23      Papers

         The following Papers were tabled:

        

         By the Minister for Human Services (Hon D C Brown) –

         Ministerial Statement – New Theatre Company

 

         By the Minister for Government Enterprises (Hon M H Armitage) –

         Ministerial Statement – Native Title Outcome.

 

24      Grievance debate

         The Speaker proposed - That the House note grievances.

         Debate ensued.

         Question put and passed.

 

25      Technical and Further Education (Industrial Jurisdiction) Amendment Bill

Order of the Day read for the consideration of the amendment of the Legislative Council in this Bill.

In Committee

 

         Resolved - That the amendment be agreed to and a consequential amendment be made.

____________

 

         The House having resumed:

Hon D C Wotton reported that the Committee had considered the amendment referred to it and had agreed to the same and had made a consequential amendment.

 

26      Electricity Corporations (Restructuring and Disposal) Bill

Order of the Day read for the adjourned debate on the question - That this Bill be now read a second time.

Debate resumed.

         Question put and passed.

 

         Bill read a second time.

 

In Committee

                                                Clauses Nos 1 to 14 agreed to.

                                                Clause No 15 amended.

 

         To report progress and ask leave to sit again.

____________

 

         The House having resumed:

Hon D C Wotton reported that the Committee had considered the Bill referred to it, had made progress therein and asked leave to sit again.

 

Ordered - That the Committee have leave to sit again on Tuesday next.

 

27      Adjournment

         House adjourned at 5.45 pm until Tuesday next at 2.00 pm.

 

____________

 

 

         Present during the day - All Members.

 

 

         The following Pairs were handed in at the Table during the days proceedings:

 

         Division No 2 -

               Ayes - Ms Rankine.

               Noes - Hon J W Olsen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                            J K G Oswald

                                                                                                            SPEAKER

 

 

G D Mitchell

CLERK OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY