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the year in legislation (3): franchising bill 2010

16 January, 2012

The Franchising Bill 2010 is an interesting contrast with the other bills featured here so far, as it had a much shorter debate time and was ultimately defeated while still before the Lower House. The bill was introduced in the Legislative Assembly as a Private Members Bill by Peter Abetz (the Member for Southern River) on 13 October 2010. However, after the Second Reading of the bill took place, the debate was adjourned until 10 August 2011, when the Second Reading debate itself resumed:

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: […] I read what Mr Morton wanted to do. He presented some arguments to me, in particular, member for Rockingham, in relation to a KFC outlet in the member’s electorate. He also made certain comments about why the State Administrative Tribunal had not supported an application by Yum! Restaurants Australia Pty Ltd. I checked the finding of SAT. I must have been early in the ministry; I did not have a lot to do!

Mr C.J. Barnett: We soon made you very busy quickly enough!

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: Not busy enough, apparently, Premier!

Mr C.J. Barnett: We are still working on it.

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: I am suffering now, though. The Premier’s comments have thrown me. Here I am trying to be nice and polite, as instructed!

Mr M. McGowan: I thought we were the only ones who cracked those jokes!

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: It is universal and I happily take it. I have never been one to step down from a good laugh at my own expense, and I have given myself enough ammunition! [1]

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: […] Back to the case in point, Mr Sam Morton explained to me that SAT had made findings for a range of reasons. I checked, and it was not true. In fact I struggled to find a lot in SAT’s finding that reflected what Mr Morton had told me. That immediately raised my hackles and my concern about his intent. He lobbied me very hard to get this government to adopt some changes to—I cannot remember which; perhaps someone will remind me—a piece of state legislation. During those conversations I became aware that he had lobbied the former minister, the now member for Girrawheen. To her credit, I think she gave him about the same treatment I gave him; that was, to polish her shoe on his backside! Maybe not; maybe she was wearing a sandal that day!

Ms M.M. Quirk: I didn’t know I was so athletic!

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: It could have come up from a long run! [2]

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: […] When I was at uni, I misguidedly joined the university ALP. I digress for a second —

Mr P. Papalia: How many different factions were you in?

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: I was in two. I started off in the right with a fellow called Michael Martindale. He was hopeless; I was attracted by his Doc Martens and his record collection. I then moved on to the centre-right, which was a splinter group —

Mr W.J. Johnston: Centre-left.

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: I mean, centre-left, which was a splinter group of the left.

Mr W.J. Johnston: That is Kevin Reynolds’ faction!

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: Beautiful! Back then it was Peter Cook—he established it. They had a big split down here in the missos building. “Chuck” Bonzas was there, having consumed a bit of his mum’s wine trifle, and he was very colourful! They were halcyon days; that is when we could have a decent debate.

Dr A.D. Buti: Just to correct you, minister —

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: The member does not have to put his hand up.

Dr A.D. Buti: — it wasn’t a splinter of the left; it was actually people from the right and the left who formed the new group.

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: It was the freethinkers; they were the ones who drank wine out of bottles!

I have to get back on track.[3]

my name is trouble

The debate moved to the Consideration in Detail stage that same day, but before the debate fell apart before the first clause had been agreed to – a series of points of order and interjections that, while not really quoteable in isolation here, make for interesting reading within the daily transcript (pp. 5589-5594).

The debate eventually resumed at the Consideration in Detail stage on 2 November 2011:

Mr M. McGOWAN: […] Before members suggest that this is an outrage and the opposition is wasting time again, and just so members understand, every week I get a list of the government legislation before the house. Already this week—perhaps halfway through the sitting week—we have dealt with four pieces of legislation. They are the Criminal Investigation (Covert Powers) Bill 2011, the Electoral and Constitution Amendment Bill 2011, the Industrial Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 and the Agricultural Practices (Disputes) Repeal Bill 2011. There was also the finalisation of the Cat Bill. Five pieces of government legislation have already been dealt with expeditiously and sensibly by the opposition. All through! All finished! All concluded! All done!

Dr G.G. Jacobs: You sound like an auctioneer!

Mr M. McGOWAN: I am not an auctioneer, but I look at the member for South Perth, and he sounds and looks more like an auctioneer to me. [4]

MR M. McGOWAN (Rockingham) [5.18 pm]: I will just speak very briefly on the Franchising Bill. We are about to go to what is called the third reading vote, which will determine whether this bill passes through this house. There may or may not be a vote. If the government decides to defeat this legislation, it can do so with its numbers. I am 50–50 on whether the government will do that now, after having watched the attitude and behaviour of the member for Vasse in supporting the amendments of the member for Southern River. It may well be the case—we will find out in a moment—that the government will not divide on this legislation, which means it will go through this house.

Mr T.R. Buswell: I thought you were going to deal with it quickly.

Mr M. McGOWAN: No, I will just explain what might be happening. We will see in a moment. If the government lets it go through the house and does not divide on it, it will have passed this house of Parliament, and to become law it will need to pass two further hurdles. First, it needs to go through the upper house, and then it needs to be taken by the Premier to the Governor for what is called royal assent. There are two further hurdles to this legislation.

Mr C.C. Porter: The year 9 classes will be loving this!

Mr M. McGOWAN: Again, the graceful Attorney General is on fire today! [5]


Having progressed through the Consideration in Detail, though, later in the session the bill was defeated – the vote on moving to the Third Reading was equal, with the Speaker casting his vote against the motion.

[1] Hansard reference: p. 5572 [online (pdf)]
[2] Hansard reference: p. 5572 [online (pdf)]
[3] Hansard reference: pp. 5578-5579 [online (pdf)]
[4] Hansard reference: p. 8836 [online (pdf)]
[5] Hansard reference: p. 8841 [online (pdf)]


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