In recent days, the Labor Party
has attempted to cover up its lack of policy substance by accusing the
Government of ‘ramming’ legislation through the Senate.

However, an examination of the facts clearly shows the rank hypocrisy of Labor’s claims:

    • The Workplace Relations
    Amendment (Work Choices) Bill 2005 was debated for 32 hours in the
    Senate. This equates to 3 weeks worth of debate time on Government
    business in the Senate. The debate on the Bill in the House of
    Representatives was the longest debate on any piece of legislation in
    10 years.

    • Of the 28 longest Senate
    debates held since Federation on pieces of legislation, 13 – nearly
    half – have been on bills introduced by the Howard Government.

    • In stark contrast, the Hawke/Keating Government has only 6 bills in the top 28 list.

    • The previous Labor Government holds the record for ‘ramming’ bills through the Senate – by margin of almost 2:1

    Bills ‘guillotined’ under Hawke/Keating Labor Government (1983 -1996) = 221

    Bills ‘guillotined’ under present Coalition Government (1996 – present) = 93

    • The record-holder for top ‘guillotiner’ since 1983 is former Senator (and current Labor MP) Bob McMullan, who guillotined 57 bills in a single day on 16 June 1992. The runner-up is Labor Senator Robert Ray, who deployed the guillotine 52 times on 13 December 1990.

Labor’s claim that the Government
is ‘ramming’ legislation through the Senate is not only false – it is
blatantly hypocritical. In particular, the industrial relations
legislation has been the most debated piece of legislation in many
years.

Labor’s attempts to distract the
people of Australia with their false claims can’t hide the fact that
Kim Beazley and the Labor Party stand for nothing and have no new
policy ideas.

Peter Fray

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