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life is like a hurricane

7 February, 2012
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While looking through the Hansard archives for material over summer, I’ve been using recent news stories and features as inspiration for keyword searches. The wave of articles dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’s birth, for example, led to searches for both the author and some key characters from his works. Most of the references, unfortunately, were just passing mentions not developed further through debates. However, I think it is interesting that, out of 15 results for ‘Scrooge’ in WA State Parliament Hansard between 2000 and today, four of the references were not about Ebenezer:

Mr E.S. RIPPER: […] When the budget figures show a robust surplus, that is a surplus on day-to-day expenditure. That then becomes a source of funding for the large capital works program. The surplus is not a pile of money I put in a room and occasionally cavort on, as Scrooge McDuck would do.

Subject: Treasurer’s Advance Authorisation Bill 2005 [Legislative Assembly – Second Reading]
Date: 3 May 2005
Hansard reference: p. 1152

While the quotes themselves might not be the most interesting, though, they can help to find debates with other exchanges potentially suitable for publication. From earlier on 3 May 2005:

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: […] The opposition is also keen to avoid being put in a position in which it is considered to be withholding or delaying in any way, shape or form the possibility of that payment being made. I am sure that our statements in the house indicate that that is indeed not the case. That allegation could not be levelled at the opposition by any sound, thinking person.

Mr E.S. Ripper: You must be sensitive about that because I haven’t levelled that accusation.

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: The Treasurer can call it conjecture or political winds.

Mr E.S. Ripper: You must sit around thinking, “The Treasurer might say this, so I’ll get in first.”

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: The Treasurer has correctly highlighted that he is at the forefront of the opposition’s thinking. We spend long hours pondering what he will say next and are often in some wonderment about what he has just said. Still, we survive and turn up here every day to enjoy his next ramble down the road in his assault on the federal system.

Mr E.S. Ripper: I am flattered. Would you like an autographed photo?

Mr T.R. BUSWELL: I may already have one.

Mr E.S. RIPPER: What an honour to be addressing you, Mr Acting Speaker (Mr P.B. Watson).

Ms J.A. Radisich: We have never flattered you so much.

Mr E.S. RIPPER: My colleague’s interjection is quite correct; I get a rougher reaction in caucus than I do from the opposition.

Mr T.R. Buswell: Treasurer, I have a photograph of you here that you could perhaps sign, although the resemblance is becoming somewhat less.

Mr E.S. RIPPER: That was a very cruel contribution from the member to wave around that old document.

Mr T.R. Buswell: The sad thing is that it will happen to me.

Subject: Financial Administration Legislation Amendment Bill 2005 [Legislative Assembly – Consideration in Detail]

Date: 3 May 2005

Hansard reference: pp. 1118-1119 [online (pdf)]

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