Published: 17 July 2018

ADJOURNMENT - Wednesday 11 July 2018

Ms  FORREST  (Murchison) - Mr President, I will make a brief contribution and suggest members might like to listen to it.

It has been a frustrating period in many respects, the last few weeks, in terms of receiving answers to questions. The Leader committed to providing the table related to workplace injuries and has not done so. I assume we will receive it at a later time. The request was for workplace injuries based on the industry sector and not public or private sector, which was never mentioned during the debate. The reason this became a problem was because we received a distinct lack of answers from one minister. When written answers were received, they did not answer the questions asked. I hope we see a greater improvement in that.

If this is an example of the spirit of cooperation the Premier talks about, maybe he has a little to learn. The Government, last week, released a media release stating the parliament had passed the Budget, the fifth budget of the Liberal Party. I am sorry, Premier, it had not. It has now, or will tomorrow morning when we do the third reading. It had not. The Legislative Council is part of the Parliament of Tasmania. I thought he would have known that. It is such disrespect being shown to this House that he would put out a media release saying, the Budget has passed the parliament. It passed the lower House but not the parliament. Is this the spirit of cooperation? I do not think so. 

We had the Leader doing her best to answer questions this week in the budget wrap-up. Half the ministers and many of the advisers are on leave, it seems - disrespectful again, when we are still sitting and dealing with the state Budget; $6 billion of expenditure and they leave. It is not our fault this ran into the winter break. It is later than usual but that is not our fault. 

Another example of a lack of a spirit of cooperation: twice I requested a briefing on the Police Offences Amendment (Prohibited Insignia) Bill, to no avail. I wanted this briefing and I know other members were also keen. I had requests from other members asking if I had I asked for one, and I said, 'Yes, I have, twice'. This is contentious legislation. It would have been helpful to have the briefing prior to the winter break so we could undertake to consult with other people in our communities about it. I am receiving a lot of emails in opposition to it, as I am sure other members are. I have not had anyone saying they support it, but that may come and that is okay. It frustrates me. We will come back after the winter break, it will be dealt with in the lower House and it will come to us. We are given briefings but that is not the point; it is the time available to consult following the briefings. If this is the spirit of cooperation it is another failing.

It has been frustrating and it has been difficult. The answers were very late this year and the member for McIntyre mentioned the Premier's answers to Committee B - he was with us on Tuesday and his answers did not arrive until Tuesday this week at 9.27 a.m. The Treasurer's answers came to us late in the afternoon on Monday and we accept there were some complex questions. How many pages was the Premier's Discretionary Fund? How hard is it to cut and paste from the upcoming DPAC annual report?

This House is being treated with a level of disrespect we have not seen for some time and I hope that changes. If the Premier is talking about the spirit of cooperation, let us see examples of it.

Go Back