Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
Yesterday your Government got mandatory minimum sentencing legislation through this parliament, on your third attempt, thanks to the vote of the independent member for Clark, Ms Ogilvie, who sits on the Government benches. As we know, mandatory minimum sentences are not supported by the Sentencing Advisory Council, the Tasmania Law Reform Institute, the Law Society, the Bar Association, the Sexual Assault Support Service and the former Commissioner for Children, yet Ms Ogilvie, a lawyer, voted for your legislation, abrogating her responsibility as a legislator to the upper House -
Mr Barnett - You are reflecting on a vote.
Ms O'CONNOR - Tasmanians have a right to know. I withdraw the reflection on the vote. I am simply now asking the question; it is a right-to-know question. Tasmanians have a right to know what price your Government has paid for Ms Ogilvie's ongoing support. What was the quid pro quo to secure the support of the former Labor, now nominally independent, MP for Clark, who despite her legal training and opposition to mandatory minimum sentences, supported your legislation?
Madam Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Greens for her question. It is a reflection on a vote in this place. They claim to be the great bastions of democracy and the great supporters of a robust and transparent democracy. Yet when an independent member whose integrity was also questioned - and, yes, she is acknowledging that gleefully. Again, it is the Greens playing the woman, not the issue, here. Ms Ogilvie can speak for herself, and she made it very clear in this place her position on this bill, and the course she took, and it is a matter of public record.
There is no substance to the suggestions of the Greens. As usual, the conspiracy theories -
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. Standing order 45, relevance . This is about the use of public resources, and whether there was a quid pro quo in return for Ms Ogilvie's ongoing support for Liberal Government legislation. Not just one bill, apparently everything.
Madam SPEAKER - That is not a point of order, but we will let the Premier -
Mr HODGMAN - I utterly reject the offensive assertions made by the member, not just with respect to me and my Government, but also Ms Ogilvie and her independence. I know it would be galling to the Labor-Greens opposition, because of course Ms Ogilvie, as a former member of the Labor Party, was not welcomed back by that party, at least not by the Leader - others were prepared to welcome her back. The fact is, for whatever reason, the Labor Party felt they did not need another member in their team, and they still are not able to provide a cogent reason for that. I know it would strengthen the Labor-Greens coalition if that had been so, but Ms Ogilvie sits in this place as an independent. I will not comprise or call into question her integrity on this matter. The bill has passed this place, and it was done so on the merits of the bill, which is all the better.
Ms White interjecting.
Mr HODGMAN - Well, some may laugh, but in our view it is a very strong position. It is a very serious matter about how we deal with those who offend against children, those who commit heinous crimes against children, about strengthening our judicial system and support for victims. That is where we stood on this side of the House, and we welcomed that Ms Ogilvie did likewise.