Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today that claims by Mr Rann about ‘legislative gridlock’ being caused by the Legislative Council were demonstrably false and designed to deceive South Australians into supporting Mr Rann’s plan to abolish or effectively destroy the Legislative Council.
Rather than ‘gridlock’, the facts of the last four years are that, of more than 200 bills introduced by the Rann Government, only three bills were defeated and one bill was held over due to significant amendments.
“So the reality is that 98% of the government’s bills have been passed by the Legislative Council and only 2% have been defeated. Hardly proof of gridlock,” Mr Lucas said.
“In fact, analysis of previous years and previous governments also show similar percentages with the overwhelming majority of government bills being passed by the Legislative Council.”
In many cases governments have conceded Legislative Council amendments have actually improved the government bills or corrected errors in drafting.
“If Mr Rann gets his way and the Legislative Council is abolished then he will get rid of most independent and minor party members such as those representing No Pokies, Democrats, Greens and Family First.
“Mr Rann needs to be reminded that many people at the last election deliberately voted against the major parties and for independents and minor parties in the Legislative Council to act as a check and balance against Mr Rann and his government.”
Abolition of the Legislative Council would also mean that Mr Rann would be able to stop the establishment of all Select Committees he didn’t want and especially those such as the property taxes, mental health, stashed cash and Atkinson/Ashbourne affair inquiries which have caused so much embarrassment to Mr Rann and his Ministers.
“Sadly, Mr Rann’s policy seems to be a clear example of an arrogant government that has become ‘power crazy’ and wants absolute power to do whatever it wants.”