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Regrettable First Day Back for Parliament

8 Mar 2016

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

After a three month break, the entire resources and energy of State Parliament on today's return have been invested in a lengthy farce.

While Labor clearly felt it had to clear the air over its flagged intention to debate No Confidence in the Speaker of the House, the Leader of the Opposition informed the House that it was Labor's wish the debate be time limited.

Smelling a political opportunity and a chance to shield the Energy Minister, Matthew Groom, from questioning, the Liberals bypassed their usual practice of seeking to time limit No Confidence or Censure debates and agreed the debate could run all day and in to the night.

The Liberals did not do this in the interests of good governance and transparency.  They did it out of base politics and self interest.

Tasmania is experiencing an energy crisis and yet on the first day back, we have spent the majority of the day not debating energy policy.

The Greens unsuccessfully moved to change Labor's motion of No Confidence in the Speaker to a Censure motion, as we did not accept that the current Speaker is wholly unfit to hold the position. 

We do believe, however, that the House should have censured the Speaker for not declaring a conflict of interest and continuing to stay in the Chair during questions on the Mantach affair.