Today, 21 February 2014, Houses & Motions reaches four figures in published posts; since 16 November 2006, we’ve published 1000 posts featuring quotes and highlights from Hansard transcripts, primarily from Western Australia but also at times delving into other states and federal politics (not all posts have featured quotes, but the year-in-legislation review posts have also included multiple quotes, so we’re over the 1000 quote mark already).
1000 posts means that there is a lot of material to read here; but if you’re interested in some of the highlights we’ve posted, here’s a very quick and unscientific selection of ten favourites or interesting pieces from the last seven and a bit years. And with this, we’re now going on a break for the next while, but maybe we’ll see you back here in the future!
1. you don’t send me (WA Legislative Council, 9 November 2005; posted 3 February 2010).
If you only read one post, make it this one. By far my favourite thing to appear in Hansard, the time when Hon. Paul Llewellyn attempted to table a fax machine. (For another Paul Llewellyn special, see ‘moving clocks run slow‘)
2. monkey to man (WA Legislative Council, 21 January 1902; posted 11 December 2013).
Not quite the oldest exchange we’ve featured here, but the gateway into the really old Hansard archives we’ve dipped into over the last few months.
3. if you’re feeling sinister (WA Legislative Assembly, 11 November 2009; posted 4 February 2010).
I’ve tried not to go overboard with either Rob Johnson or Grant Woodhams in this list, but sometimes you just can’t escape them. This exchange also leads to ‘i fought in a war‘ and ‘the stars of track and field‘ (yes, this was a period when every post used a Belle and Sebastian song title).
5. I see red… (WA Legislative Assembly, 29 November 2006; posted 17 January 2007).
Okay, I like the silly interjections between members, and we’ve featured a lot of them over the years, particularly about some members being distracted by others’ appearances. see also: flex capacitor, I… have no words, totally nude; like Eoin McLove; across a crowded room; universally acknowledged; hair apparent, and many many more…
6. a bit too excited about the budget (WA Legislative Assembly, 24 November 2005; posted 18 November 2006).
Part of a series involving Eric Ripper and Troy Buswell. See also: a bit too excited about the budget (no. 2), the look of love, blue condition, and so on…
7. who do you think you are? (Queensland Legislative Assembly, 15 September 2009; posted 14 October 2009).
There are a lot of these kind of exchanges, but this is one of the better/more extreme realisations.
8. working parties (WA Legislative Assembly, 2 June 2005; posted 8 April 2007).
It’s a little weird to remember that we started this back in the heady days of 2006, under a Labor government in WA (and really pre-boom) (also still in the Howard years, which is just as weird). Not that this comment has anything to do with the above exchange, to be honest…
9. nsfp (WA Legislative Assembly, 23 June 2010; posted 2 July 2010).
Could easily just post an extended list of weird innuendo &c. (see also, for instance, that is, indeed, what she said, l’amour à la française)
10. and the cop-out answer: all of the Grant Woodhams poetry/song parodies. They had to be here, since really this is what caused us to launch the site in the first place, but rather than pick one, our collected list is here: plenty is never Greenough: Grant Woodhams’s Greatest Hits (contains popular favourites including ‘I Love A Sunburn Daily’, ‘Budget Pie’, and ‘Woodie, the Speaker of the Overflow’). (WA Legislative Assembly, 2005-2012; posted 2006-2012, list published 13 November 2012).
And to finish, some favourite out-of-context exclamations:
“Table the minister!” / “I cannot table my leg!”
“There will be no tooting.”
“This is not a place of fun; this is the Parliament.”
“Order, members! This is a house of Parliament, not a pirate ship!”
“Order! Members, this is not a discussion about love; this is Parliament!”
“Order! This is a section called “Members’ Statements”, not “Personal Insults”.”
“I request that all members stop calling each other Lord Haw-Haw until I find out what that means.”
“How can someone come to this place and not know Yes Minister? I suppose that demonstrates the problem we have here.”
THE SPEAKER (Mr G.A. Woodhams) took the chair at 9.00 am, and read prayers.
CONTAINER DEPOSIT SCHEME
MR P.B. WATSON (Albany) [9.01 am]: I have a petition that contains 35, um, signatures —
Mr D.A. Templeman: It was a long night last night. I haven’t been home; I’ve been here all night!
Mr P.B. WATSON: Can I seek protection from the member for Mandurah, Mr Speaker?
Subject: Container Deposit Scheme [Legislative Assembly – Petition]
Date: 22 September 2011
Hansard reference: p. 7635 [online (pdf)]
Hon KIM CHANCE:: […] I recognise that fishing organisations, such as RecFishWest, the Australian Anglers Association and the Charter Boat Owners Association of WA, are all very active in the promotion of this form of education in handling fish to ensure that we do not give them herpes from kissing them, or whatever it is that people do on television programs. That is probably best left alone.
Hon Nick Griffiths: I am not going to have fish and chips tonight! I’ve heard enough!
Subject: Fish Resources Management Amendment Regulations (No. 8) 2003 [Legislative Council – Motion for Disallowance]
Date: 5 December 2003
Hansard reference: pp. 14589-14590 [online (pdf)]
Mr McGOWAN: Mr Acting Speaker, I am ecstatic that this motion has been brought on now. I have spoken on this issue about four times, either as a matter of public interest, private members’ business or in general debate. It has provided me with more and more opportunities to say what a terrific decision it was to take the railway up the freeway into Perth.
Mr Pendal interjected.
Mr McGOWAN: I will get to the arguments put by the member for South Perth. I always thought he was an old-style Tory, a man who believes in the principles of Edmund Burke, but he is actually a nimby – a lightish-green, slightly pink nimby.
Mr Pendal: A green, pink nimby? Mr Acting Speaker, can I take a point of order on that?
Mr McGOWAN: I always had a sort of romantic view of the member for South Perth.
Several members interjected.
Mr Pendal: What? I take a point of order on that. You just keep over there!
Subject: Southern Metropolitan Rail Link Route [Legislative Assembly – Motion]
Date: 14 November 2001
Hansard reference: p. 5567 [online (pdf)]
Dr EDWARDS: […] I recently took my husband to the Zoo, and he did not notice the animals, but kept staring at the palms –
Mr Trenorden: Did you take him home again?
Dr EDWARDS: I will tell him that. I did a swap!
Subject: Zoological Parks Authority Bill 2001 [Legislative Assembly – Second Reading]
Date: 26 June 2001
Hansard reference: pp. 1414-1415 [online (pdf)]
HON PETER FOSS: […] However, if WorkSafe were involved we might have had something done about the abominable conditions that exist in the primary Chamber. Despite how beautiful the leather chairs might look from the gallery, they are a work hazard. Three members now sit on wooden boards because the chairs are bad for their backs. Nearly everybody has to have a very wide cushion behind their back to allow their knee bend to line up with the edge of the seat. Trying to use a computer is impossible at these desks because the only way we can get it even vaguely aligned is by putting it on a drawer that pulls out, which further restricts our capacity to move. If we have to suddenly rise to our feet, all sorts of dangerous things might occur to the nether regions. I am sure Hon Ken Travers would lose his knees if he had to rise rapidly to his feet!
Hon Ken Travers: Not to mention getting giddy.
Hon PETER FOSS: Yes. He obviously has not been built with the compensating mechanisms that a giraffe has.
Subject: Members’ Statements [Legislative Council – Legislative Council Chamber, Front-Bench Desks]
Date: 13 August 2003
Hansard reference: pp. 9853-9854 [online (pdf)]
HON PETER FOSS (East Metropolitan) [9.07 pm]: I attended the university at a time when it was known as “the” university, because it was the only university.
Hon Derrick Tomlinson: It still is.
Hon PETER FOSS: I also attended St George’s College at a time when it was known as “the” college.
Hon Derrick Tomlinson: It still is.
Hon PETER FOSS: It probably still is. I was a member of the University of Western Australia guild at a time when it was known as “the” guild, because it was the only guild.
Subject: Acts Amendment (Student Guilds and Associations) Bill 2002 [Legislative Council – Second Reading]
Date: 17 December 2002
Hansard reference: p. 4415 [online (pdf)]