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7 December, 2011

Mr R.F. JOHNSON: […] I want to thank a few people and I will start with you, Mr Speaker. I thank you for the work you do. It is a very difficult job. Indeed, I have done your job as the Deputy Speaker for a time and as an Acting Speaker for four years. I therefore know that it is not an easy job to do and I thank you for the way you have done it. I have been keeping a tally of calls to order and I must say that you are a very patient and tolerant Speaker. I have been keeping a scorecard of the naughty boys and naughty girls in the chamber and I will give you a little list of that number.

Ms M.M. Quirk: Your time could be better spent if you actually got on top of your portfolios.

Mr R.F. JOHNSON: No; do not be nasty.

Ms M.M. Quirk: It’s true.

Mr R.F. JOHNSON: This is in good humour. I think it is important to say that the Speaker has a difficult job.

Ms M.M. Quirk: We’ve got to sit here all year and listen to this crap!

Mr R.F. JOHNSON: I think the member for Girrawheen doth protest too much, and I will tell her why in a minute!

Ms M.M. Quirk: I know why!

Mr R.F. JOHNSON: The member for Girrawheen knows why! You see, Mr Speaker, that is the problem; we have all been called to order. Members get called to order more when they are in opposition than when they are in government. It is a fact of life because opposition members go that bit further. However, it is important that members be aware of the number of members formally called to order by the Speaker during question time. The figure is only of those who were called to order during question time; it does not include members who were formally called to order during other debates or procedures in the house. The figure is up to today, and there is a three-way tie for the winner.

Ms M.M. Quirk: The member for Albany and the member for Girrawheen!

Mr R.F. JOHNSON: I will tell the member for Girrawheen who the winner was until yesterday: it was the member for Cannington. He was the horse out in front. He was followed very closely by the member for Girrawheen and of course the member for Cockburn as well. All three of them have been formally called to order during question time 24 times.

Ms M.M. Quirk: Is that all? I must try harder next time!

Mr R.F. JOHNSON: That is what I am saying: the Speaker has been very lenient with the member for Girrawheen. I would have been a lot harder. The Speaker is a very generous person. The next one down the list, who was formally called to order 23 times, only one fewer than the member for Girrawheen, was the member for Warnbro. I would have thought he would have got more. Another member who should know better got 20—that is, the member for Albany. Of course, he is one of the Acting Speakers, so he is a bit naughty to have racked up 20. I am a bit surprised that the one after that with 18 was the member for Victoria Park. The one after that was the member for West Swan; she is not in the chamber and is obviously at home. She had 14. The member for Willagee, one of our newer members, racked up half of what the member for Warnbro got; he got 11. The member for Joondalup got 11 as well. I come to the member for Mandurah, who we often hear but do not see as he ducks down behind the seat in front; we cannot actually see him but we can hear him.

Mrs L.M. Harvey interjected.

Mr R.F. JOHNSON: Yes, exactly. The member for Mandurah has racked up 10; the member for Bassendean got 10, the member for Pilbara got nine; and so on and so forth. I have to say that the member for Rockingham should be commended; he has been called to order only once during question time.

Mr M. McGowan: I have a special relationship with the Speaker!

Mr R.F. JOHNSON: We are therefore going to award the member for Rockingham a gold star for his good behaviour. The member for Girrawheen will get a ticking off and I will send a letter home with her. I just thought that tally was very interesting, but the formal calls to order were not all one-sided. The majority is from one side, obviously, as it always is, but some members on our side were called to order. The highest number on our side was from the member for Riverton; he got four. The member for Murray–Wellington got three; the Minister for Health, two; the Minister for Agriculture and Food, two; the member for Eyre, two; the Premier,
two—even the Premier gets them; the Attorney General, one; the member for North West, one; the member for Wanneroo, one; and the Minister for Transport; Housing, one. That is not bad. That is the list of members called to order during question time. I thought it important that members know that. Next year they should do better. I want to see those numbers on both sides come down.

Subject: Adjournment of the House [Legislative Assembly – Special]

Date: 1 December 2011

Hansard reference: pp. 10420-10421 [online (pdf)]

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