Posted by: jkirkby8712 | October 16, 2011

Wednesday, 12th October 2011 – important events in Parliament over today and Thursday.

I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about the carbon tax proposal, but in any case, the Gillard government today secured passage of its controversial carbon tax through the lower house of federal parliament with the support of key crossbench MPs and of course the Greens, under Senator Bob Brown whom many consider as the defact prime minister!! Labor won the vote on the 18 carbon tax bills 74 to 72.  The lower house also passed the government’s $300 million steel transformation plan bill. That vote was won 75 to 71 with Queensland independent Bob Katter joining fellow independents Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor and Andrew Wilkie, and Greens MP Adam Bandt, in backing Labor.  Following that, we saw the unusual spectacle of  Government ministers embracing and clapping following the vote,  with Prime Minister Julia Gillard applauded the result as opposition MPs jeered. That performance would receive much criticism and ridicule from the Opposition over the next 24 hours.  With the support of the Greens, that legislation, the ‘Clean Energy Future Bills’, is likely to be passed by the Senate within the next few days.

While it probably didn’t make a difference to the eventual vote result, the Liberal’s Sophie Mirabella was unapologetic about being suspended for today’s vote on the carbon tax.   Mrs Mirabella did not vote this morning after she was suspended for 24 hours from parliament from 10.30pm yesterday by fellow Liberal politician and deputy speaker Peter Slipper.  Personally, I don’t feel that she is a good advocate for the Opposition, too outspoken and aggressive for my liking, and that is demonstrated by her comments – 

Mrs Mirabella told ABC Goulburn Murray radio this morning that she was trying to table a petition of names of North East residents opposed to the carbon tax when she was ordered out of the House of Representatives.  “It wasn’t my behaviour (that prompted the suspension), it was the refusal of the Labor Party to grant me leave to table those signatures,” Mrs Mirabella said.  “They’ve tried to intimidate and shut me up against the carbon tax for many, many months.  “I’m not someone who will be intimidated by the Labor Party I will continue to fight against the carbon tax, if this gets through the only reason why the carbon tax will become law is not because I’ve been suspended for 24 hours, let’s get that fact straight, the only reason the carbon tax will pass into law is because no government members have got the moral backbone to stand up for the interests of their constituents and that goes for several independents as well.”   Mrs Mirabella was asked if she had any regrets about what happened and said “absolutely not”, before placing blame on Climate Change Minister Greg Combet.

The piece of legislation that I don’t want to see succeed comes up tomorrow, relating to changing the rules to allow overseas processing of refugees in Malaysia. Apparently, as the day approached, the success of that Bill for the Labor Party was going to depend on how one independent National Party member decided to vote. On this occasion, the Greens were in agreement with the Opposition, so that one vote was crucial for the Government.

Meanwhile on the ‘home front’, this evening I went around to a short Committee meeting of the Family History Society – with three members missing, including an unwell President, Peter Free, it was all over within an hour, which certainly suited me!! I was able to get back home and attend to a few other tasks.


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