Tuesday 28 November 2017
Hansard of the Legislative Council

Constitutional Power to Reject Money Bills – Removal

Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, the member for McIntyre did not consult with me before bringing this motion on.  I have not talked with him recently, but I understand he has had this in mind for a lot of years.  We often talk about it.  I have been here long enough now to hear the discussion - every time we have an election, that is all that is talked about.

We are always bashed about with the fact that we have that power.  It has come down to a cheap shot at the Legislative Council.  If they want to criticise the Legislative Council, 'Oh, they have the power to send a government to an election'.  We get that all the time.

I like this amendment which will enable us to talk about changing that situation, to take away that opportunity.  If it comes to fruition that we go to a suspensory veto provision, it would take away that opportunity for that cheap shot at the Legislative Council by the political parties.

Anything that we can do to disarm that sort of thing improves our standing in the parliamentary process.

Mr Hall - Sections of the media and other political commentators all have a shot at us.

Mr FINCH - It is an easy argument to put forward.  It is a cheap shot - 'What can we put in this story here about the election process?  Let us bang on about the Legislative Council having the power to send the government to an election.'

To my way of observing what goes on here, it is never in people's minds to do that or to exercise that power or to strut around as if you have that over the lower House.

Mr Hall - If you recall only a few short years ago, as mentioned before, the former member for Mersey stood here and talked about the statue in Devonport.  It was either money for the statue or not money for the statue; I cannot remember.  The member for Windermere made some protest about - I cannot remember what it was about now - but members of the media were all over us, every member - 'Are you going to block the budget?'  They had an absolute field day.

Mr FINCH - Boring.  Get that off the books.  I am not suggesting a quick fix.  There should be a consultation process, there should be discussion and there should be an inquiry.  There should be a real confab about the parliamentary process - what serves the other parliaments well and whether it might suit us to eliminate a circumstance that is always levelled as a criticism at the Legislative Council. 
I support the motion and the amendment.