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Grim tales

28 December, 2006
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HON DERRICK TOMLINSON (East Metropolitan) [3.02 pm]: I am not sure how to characterise this Bill. Bearing in mind that the second reading speech summarises the intent of the Bill, if one reads the minister’s second reading speech and loses sight of the Bill itself, it could be characterised as a “Mary Poppins Bill” – a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down in the most delightful way. If one is distracted by the eloquence of the second reading speech and does not pay attention to the contents of the Bill, it might be characterised as an “It will not hurt, did it Bill” because a person does not know what he is getting until after he has had it. It is only when the consequences are examined that the person knows what it is that he had. The third way of characterising this Bill –

The CHAIRMAN: Order, members!

Hon DERRICK TOMLINSON: I apologise to honourable members who are trying to carry on with their conversations. My voice does tend to intrude into their conversations but I shall try to reduce its timbre.

Hon Nick Griffiths: I can assure Hon Derrick Tomlinson that I was listening to his every word. I know that he, like I did, enjoyed the Mary Poppins movie many years ago and a spoonful of sugar does help the medicine go down. There is another long word I could use but I will not say it because I might get it wrong.

Hon DERRICK TOMLINSON: The minister cannot help but listen to what I have to say because the whole world hears what I say. I want to make sure he absorbs what I have to say.

The third way of characterising this Bill is as the “Little Red Riding Hood Bill”.

Hon Nick Griffiths: And you are the big bad wolf.

Hon DERRICK TOMLINSON: No, I am Little Red Riding Hood. Members know what happened to Little Red Riding Hood. On her way to Grandma’s house, with the express warning from her mother to beware of the wolf in the woods, poor Little Red Riding Hood was spied on by the wolf in the woods. Instead of the wolf jumping out and doing what wolves do to little maidens in the wood, he decided to go to Grandma’s house and disguise himself as someone else. He disguised himself as Grandma and decided to impose an intelligence test upon Little Red Riding Hood.

Hon Nick Griffiths: You are the big bad wolf.

Hon DERRICK TOMLINSON: No, I am Little Red Riding Hood. As we all know, the big bad wolf did something to Grandma – stuffed her into the cupboard or under the bed – and then dressed himself in her nightclothes and jumped into her bed. Totally oblivious to this, Little Red Riding Hood came into the house, saw Grandma in bed and said “Oh Grandma, what big eyes you have.” Grandma responded by saying “All the better to see you with, my dear.” Little Red Riding Hood failed the first test. She then said “Oh Grandma, what big ears you have.” Grandma responded “All the better to hear you with, my dear” and Little Red Riding Hood failed the second test. Can members imagine the situation; there is a wolf in the bed with more hair on his face than Hon Frank Hough or Hon Simon O’Brien and Little Red Riding Hood does not even twig that Grandma is a wolf; she must have been the original bimbo. Eventually Little Red Riding Hood said “Oh Grandma, what big teeth you have.” At that stage the wolf jumped out of bed, exposed himself, Little Red Riding Hood screamed, the woodman came in, dispatched the wolf and carried off Little Red Riding Hood. This Bill is a “Little Red Riding Hood Bill”.

Subject: Fire and Emergency Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2001 [Legislative Council – Second Reading]

Date: 19 September 2002

Hansard reference: pp. 1253b – 1257a [online (pdf)]

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