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you don’t send me

3 February, 2010
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This marks the 400th post on Houses & Motions, and so to ‘celebrate’, here’s a highlight from the archives of the WA Legislative Council. It’s a trifle long, but it’s a bit different, doesn’t involve Rob Johnson, and I think it’s worth it (possibly).

Hon PAUL LLEWELLYN: […] At this point I seek leave to table a number of items for the balance of the day, one of which is the fax machine that I have in front of me. The documents that I will seek leave to table are inside the fax machine. In fact, the fax machine is out of order, and I do not know what the procedure is for tabling a document that is actually caught in a fax machine that does not work.

The PRESIDENT: Perhaps the honourable member would resume his seat. He is proposing to seek leave to table a fax machine. It would be a historic event if leave were granted, and it is historic to seek leave to table a fax machine. However, before the member can do anything further, the house must give him leave. Perhaps if the member puts the fax machine down, he can seek leave, and I will ask the house whether leave is granted. It is a matter for the house. The honourable member seeks leave to table the fax machine that is in front of him.

Hon PAUL LLEWELLYN: In fact, I seek leave to table the documents that are trapped inside the fax machine because it is out of order.

The PRESIDENT: Very well. The honourable member is seeking the leave of the house to table the documents inside the fax machine, with the fax machine, because he cannot take the documents out of it.

Hon PAUL LLEWELLYN: Exactly.

The PRESIDENT: To do that, the member needs the leave of the house. The member may have other items he wishes to table, but I will put that proposition to the house.

Point of Order

Hon GEORGE CASH: Is it intended that the fax machine be tabled in the normal manner – that is, filed by the Parliament to be the property of the Parliament – or for the balance of the day?

The PRESIDENT: I think the member said that it would be for the balance of this sitting day. Is that the case, honourable member?

Hon PAUL LLEWELLYN: That is right, because I would like to see whether I can have it repaired so that I can get the documents out of it.

The PRESIDENT: I will put the question as well as I can at this historic moment. The honourable member seeks the leave of the house to table the fax machine and the documents inside the fax machine until the end of this day’s sitting.

Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: As a point of procedure, Mr President, I think it is the documents that are the key matter. If we do not have access to the documents, I wonder whether there is much point in doing this. I do not think we have the capacity to take apart the fax machine, particularly if the honourable member wants to get it repaired. We do not want to do further damage to it. Perhaps the member could be given leave to table the documents when they are recovered from the fax machine or at some later stage. I am raising this issue to try to help. However, I am perfectly happy to participate in the tabling of a fax machine, if that will help.

The PRESIDENT: The matter before the house is the proposition that a fax machine containing documents be tabled until the end of this sitting day. If leave is not granted and at some later stage the honourable member is able to get the documents out of his fax machine, he can at that later stage seek the leave of the house to table those documents. However, this is a matter for the house. I am just pointing out that it is a historic and somewhat unusual occasion.

Debate Resumed

The PRESIDENT: I will put the proposition. I ask the house whether leave is granted.

Leave denied.

The PRESIDENT: The member may continue his remarks.

Hon PAUL LLEWELLYN: Is there another way of doing this?

Several members interjected.

The PRESIDENT: Hon Paul Llewellyn has the call and he is speaking to the motion that he has moved.

Hon PAUL LLEWELLYN: Without wishing to distract the house from its important business, this fax machine of the Greens (WA), representatives of the Parliament of Western Australia, is out of order. This machine was bequeathed to the Greens, I believe, by the Premier of the state. Ever since we have had this fax machine, it has given us a lot of trouble.

Several members interjected.

Hon PAUL LLEWELLYN: Other matters relate to the symbolism of having been given a fax machine that is out of order or –

Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: You’re supposed to get it fixed when it breaks down. That’s the whole idea.

Hon PAUL LLEWELLYN: I must tell the Minister for Education and Training that we have tried to fix this fax machine on a number of occasions. In fact, it has been dysfunctional. However, that is not the point I wish to make. This is an analogy for the way in which members of this house are resourced by the Parliament of Western Australia. I am conscious of the fact that the Minister for Education and Training would be highly resourced as a minister of the state and would have many staff members –

Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: I actually don’t have my own fax machine. I’d kill for that fax machine!

The PRESIDENT: That would be highly disorderly!

Hon Simon O’Brien: Sell her the fax machine!

Hon PAUL LLEWELLYN: I was just about to get to the point that this fax machine is the minister’s –
Several members interjected.

Hon PAUL LLEWELLYN: The minister can have this fax machine if she guarantees me that any important documents that have been lost in its memory will remain the property of the Greens. In fact, faxes from our electorate offices are sent to this machine at Parliament House. I have spent many hours standing by the machine, at its mercy, waiting for it to transmit documents so that I can fulfil my obligations as a member of this house. However, it is out of order. For a hundred bucks, you can have it.

The PRESIDENT: The member should address his remarks through the Chair. I assure him that the President is not interested in purchasing a fax machine for a hundred bucks or anything else!

Subject: Members of Parliament, Constituents’ Access and Representation [Legislative Council – Motion]

Date: 9 November 2005

Hansard reference: pp. 6937 – 6938 [online (pdf)]

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