Sep 15, 2011

Additional Sitting Hours for Clean Energy Debate

 Today, the House of Representatives agreed to my motion to sit for five additional hours on Tuesday 20 September to facilitate debate on the Government’s Clean Energy Future legislation.

 Christopher Pyne, the Manager of Opposition Business, spoke against the motion to extend sitting hours in direct contradiction of his claims that the Government is not providing enough time for debate.

 In fact, Christopher Pyne is not the only Opposition Member who can’t make up his mind about whether to support more time in the House to debate climate change.

 Tony Abbott also can’t make up his mind about whether he wants more time for debate in the House or not. 

 At first, this seems like a truly bizarre situation, where they complained that there isn’t enough time and then they say there’s plenty of time.

 The quotes from Tony Abbott – less than 48 hours apart – explain it all.

 “Look, we think that if the parliament is to do justice to legislation it’s got to have adequate time and I don’t see why we do have a situation where I think if you do the mathematics you’ve got one minute per member per bill because there are 18 bills, 1,000 pages of legislation, they’re going to try to rush that through the parliament in under two weeks.”

 ABC SYDNEY – 13 SEPTEMBER 2011

 But less than 48 hours later, Tony Abbott said there was plenty of time.

  “Well that is a matter for Malcolm, this debate will go over the next fortnight or so of parliamentary sitting and Malcolm and indeed everyone else has got plenty of time to make a contribution.”

 2GB – 15 SEPTEMBER 2011

 But to understand why Tony Abbott can’t make up his mind on whether he wants more time for debate, you only need to know two words– Malcolm Turnbull.