Thursday 28 November 2019
Hansard of the Legislative Council

PLACE NAMES BILL 2019 (No. 38)
Suspension of Standing Order 279


[4.10 p.m.]
Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, it has been made obvious over many years that the member for Murchison will object to the suspension of Standing Orders.  When will the message get through to the government of the day that it is will be untidy to try to come in here and suspend Standing Orders to allow the passing of the bill through the process?  Four years the bill has been in preparation.  The member for Windermere mentioned we recently had a briefing from Mr Mulder.  When was that, two or three weeks ago? 

Mr Dean - Three or four weeks ago.

Mr FINCH - There has been time in our parliamentary program to move this through.  I do not know what limitations there were in stopping this bill being efficiently brought to this House without us having to debate again the suspension of Standing Orders.  The message is there every time there is a suspension of Standing Orders.  It is about organising the business of the day, through the proper processes, starting downstairs to ensure that you have the proper time to work through matters according to the Westminster system instead of having to go through this process of suspending Standing Orders.

Ms Forrest - Some pieces of legislation do not have a commencement date.  They are the ones you leave to the last sitting day. 

Mr FINCH - Sure.  If there were urgency with something that needed the cooperation of the Legislative Council, that would not be denied.  I do not see that in this situation.  As you say, Leader, four years in the process of doing this.  There was no time urgency expressed to us in recent briefings.  We have not heard there is any urgency to get this through.  Then the Legislative Council gets blamed for blocking everything and for being uncooperative.  We do not want to be put in that position.  We do not want to be seen as the bogey people in the process.  It is about the proper process, a proper process that starts downstairs.  Start with the order of business in bringing it before us.  We are happy to cooperate - but not this last minute stuff.

At least we do not have the rush we had.  In my first 10 or 12 years here, we would get a rush at Christmas.  Boring.  Eventually, certainly with this Government, they realised -

Ms Forrest - They did not always try to suspend Standing Orders to get it read straightaway.  Occasionally, but the bill was not done on the last day every time.  There was just so much of it, that was all.

Mr FINCH - At least the Government has done away with that process, where we end up sitting into the night.  Family-friendly hours went out the window while all this urgent legislation banked up.  At least this Government does not have us going through that process.  This is the odd one out.  The member for Murchison has always dug in on the suspension of Standing Orders.  It is not about us.  It is about what is happening in the other place that makes it disorganised.

I am reluctant not to support what you are trying to achieve.  I think I have talked myself into not supporting it.