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NSW government defends debate choke

Posted on 11/06/2019 | in 南宁桑拿 | by

The NSW government has defended its decision to choke off debate in the state’s upper house, accusing filibustering Green and Labor MPs of an abuse of parliament and wasting taxpayers’ money.

南宁桑拿

The government invoked a provision that has not been used in more than a century to guillotine the debate on its public sector wage reforms, which began on Wednesday and has dragged on into the weekend.

On resumption of debate on Saturday morning, the government exercised standing order 99, which has not been used since 1906, to end the filibuster and force the bill into the committee stage.

The upper house will now debate amendments to the government’s industrial relations changes, which controversially strips the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) of its power to set public

sector wages.

Nationals MP and Roads Minister Duncan Gay said debate on the bill had dragged on for 29 hours – an abuse of parliament and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“This is an extraordinary abuse of the parliamentary process,” Mr Gay said in a statement.

“The Greens and the opposition have cost the taxpayers of NSW more than $300,000 by forcing it to sit into the early hours of the

morning.

“The government was willing to give everyone reasonable time to speak, but would not allow the house to descend into farce which is

exactly what has happened.”

Outraged Labor and Greens MPs yelled abuse across the chamber when the government signalled its intention to use its power to gag

the debate.

It won a division in the house by 20 votes to 17.

In a brief debate that followed the vote, Labor and Greens MPs lined up to condemn the government for shutting down the debate.

Labor MP Amanda Fazio accused government MPs in the house of “throwing out over a century of tradition in this house”.

“They are now so spineless and so lacking in courage … that they do not want to have full and open scrutiny and a full debate,” she said.

The marathon filibuster saw debate stretch late into the night on Thursday and Friday.

Greens MP David Shoebridge on Thursday spoke for five hours and 58 minutes to smash the previous record for the longest continuous

speech in the upper house, set in 1991.

Labor and the Greens have been calling on the government to adjourn the debate until the next sitting day, on June 14, to allow public debate on a bill which will impact on more than 300,000 workers.

The government is now seeking a vote to restrict debate in the committee stage, with Finance Minister Greg Pearce saying Labor had handed him 152 amendments.

The bill is expected to eventually be passed by the upper house, with the support of cross bench MPs from the Shooters Party and

Christian Democrats.

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