The Hon. Rob Lucas MLC

The Hon

Rob Lucas MLC



Statutes Amendment and Repeal (TAFE SA Consequential Provisions) Bill

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (17:53): I move an amendment to that motion:

That the Hon. J.A. Darley be substituted for the Hon. T. A. Franks.

As I have explained to the Hon. Ms Franks, and I explain now to members in this chamber, the century-long convention or tradition of this particular chamber is that, going to a conference of managers, the Legislative Council managers are there to represent the position of the Legislative Council. The Legislative Council's position is different from the position of the government. The House of Assembly managers, as strange as it might seem, which include the member for Unley, are there to argue the government's position.

The practical reality of what goes on in the conference we can leave to the discussions that go on within the conference, but the position is that there is a disagreement between the houses. The government in the House of Assembly has a view and the Legislative Council has a view. The Legislative Council's view on a couple of those amendments is different.

So, the Hon. Mr Wortley and the Hon. Mr Kandelaars, according to the conventions, will be there arguing for the Legislative Council's position, strongly and passionately I would hope, and contrary to the government's position. That is the convention. But the convention is also that, of the five members of the Legislative Council, the position of the Legislative Council, which is a majority position of the Legislative Council, is reflected by majority position on the conference of managers; that is, of the five members, three represent the majority position on the one or two amendments where there is dispute.

The whole bill has gone through and there was not much dispute, but there is a package of amendments that were moved by me on behalf of the Liberal Party and by the Hon. Mr Darley on his own behalf. Those amendments are the subject of the disagreement or dispute, and those amendments are the ones that have to be resolved at the conference. So, the position on the amendments from the Hon. Mr Darley and myself was supported by the majority of the Legislative Council.

The reality of the conventions is that the majority position of the managers, if we put aside the fact that the Hon. Mr Wortley and the Hon. Mr Kandelaars should be supporting the Legislative Council position, is that of those arguing the Legislative Council's position. As I explained to the Hon. Ms Franks, with the greatest of respect, her position is the same is the government's position. The Hon. Ms Franks' position—the Greens' position—is not supporting the Liberal Party amendment or indeed the Hon. Mr Darley's amendment: she is opposing it—she has the same position as you.

As I indicated to the Hon. Ms Franks, if the government wanted the Hon. Ms Franks on the conference, it could have (as has occurred in the past) agreed that one of it is two members (the Hon. Mr Kandelaars, for example) would step aside and the Hon. Ms Franks could be one of the two government members, if that is their wish. The Hon. Mr Wortley has had this explained to him—he is aware of it—and I am not sure why he would now choose to, in essence, seek to breach what has been the long-held conventions and traditions of the council in relation to the conference of managers.

There is no specific affront to the Hon. Ms Franks: I am delighted to see her on a conference of managers if she happens to reflect the majority view or, if she is in the minority view on that particular issue, I am delighted to see her there representing that view, which was the government's position, as one of the two government members. But, the government and the minister cannot just have their way or, if they do, we might as well throw out all the rules in relation to a conference of managers from here on and not worry about the convention.

The Hon. T.A. Franks: We're on your side; you don't have to convince us.

The Hon. R.I. LUCAS: Oh, are you? Okay, sorry. The Hon. Ms Franks has saved me from speaking for another 2½ hours, and I am delighted with that. The Hon. Ms Franks evidently is indicating that she supports the position that I am putting and I will therefore conclude my remarks by saying: let us stick with the conventions of the house and not seek to breach them through this particular motion that has been moved by the minister.

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