Day three of Anything But The Budget Week and the Government has again moved to gag debate on important and contentious budget measures.
Leader of the House Christopher Pyne today moved gag motions on a raft of public governance, performance and accountability bills, as well as legislation to enact the Government’s new petrol tax – the Excise Tariff Amendment (Fuel Indexation) Bill.
The gag motions limit substantive debate on public governance bills, which contain amendments to more than 250 Commonwealth acts, to just 60 minutes, while debate on the Fuel Indexation Bill is limited to only two hours.
Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke said the complex and controversial nature of the bills meant the extremely compressed timeframe for debate undermined the democratic functions of the parliament.
“It’s very clear the Government wants to talk about anything but the budget this week and is moving gag motion after gag motion to supress debate about its toxic and unfair budget,” Mr Burke said.
“The Government has allowed just 120 minutes to debate a new tax that every single Australian will pay every time they fill up their car.
“No new taxes was the Prime Minister’s promise before the election and today he’s shutting down debate on the Petrol Tax, a measure that represents a clear breach of his promise.
“Tony Abbott should stop running from his unfair budget, front up to the parliament and explain to the Australian people why he lied to them before the election.”
Shadow Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Brendan O’Connor said the Abbott Government’s decision to axe the Commonwealth Cleaning Services Guidelines and then stymie debate was a low-blow to cleaners.
“Cleaners deserve better than Mr Abbott gagging the debate on their futures,” Mr O’Connor said.
“Mr Abbott is gagging the debate because he knows cleaners will be worse off as a result of his unfair decision to axe the Cleaning Services Guidelines.”