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14 December, 2012
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A festive, multi-part Rob Johnson post to end the week – Mr Johnson has been quiet in the Legislative Assembly since moving to the backbenches, but prior to that he was an extremely vocal contributor to proceedings (as we have featured on many occasions). The following exchanges cover a recurring theme during the final sitting day of December 2003; this is one of those examples where the video archive might further explain things…

Mr R.F. JOHNSON: […] This is the last sitting day, and I am trying to keep in a very positive frame of mind. I am not trying to have a go at anybody. I just commented earlier to the parliamentary secretary, in a gesture of goodwill – it is the truth – that he does not have a clue about the Bill. He does not. He knows that it is a big thick Bill and that there are loads of amendments. If I asked him a question about a part of the Bill, he would have a lot of trouble answering the question. However, I will not do that to the parliamentary secretary, because I am that sort of person. My friend and I just want to be good friends – that is my friend who is sitting in front of me today. He is my Christmas cow. [1]

[…]

MS A.J. MacTIERNAN (Armadale – Minister for Planning and Infrastructure) [8.19 pm]: That was an entirely predictable contribution by the member for Alfred Cove. Frankly, I am sick of listening to the diatribe from the member on every issue. There is never a scintilla of substance to them – not one. All we hear from the member is that the Government did not listen to the community.

Mr R.F. Johnson: Just a minute. Don’t shout at my cow! [2]

[…]

Ms A.J. MacTIERNAN: […] The member does not want that because the capital “K” community does not want it. How would the member know? She said that the community does not want the Raffles site developed. Who is the community?

Mr R.F. Johnson: Could you explain capital “K”? My Mildred doesn’t understand.

Ms A.J. MacTIERNAN: I will give the member a lesson. The member has been listening to the cockney for too long. If we are to have a serious debate, I urge the leader of opposition business to keep his quivering hand still.

Mr R.F. Johnson: It is Mildred who is quivering, not me. [3]

[…]

MR J.C. KOBELKE (Nollamara – Leader of the House) [8.58 pm]: […] In addition, the Government has responded to more than 1 760 parliamentary questions on notice in the Legislative Assembly. There are 115 questions in the Legislative Assembly that are yet to be answered, but 38 of those came into the Parliament just in the last week. The Government has responded to more than 600 questions without notice, giving very detailed answers to members opposite and assisting them to understand the function of
government.

Mr R.F. Johnson: Ho, ho, ho!

Mr J.C. KOBELKE: I thought the member for Hillarys’ friendly cow would appreciate that! [4]

[…]

Mr R.F. JOHNSON: […] As the Leader of the House said earlier, it does not hurt to have a bit of humour in this place. Goodness me, what a dreadfully dreary and dull place this would be if we could not have a bit of laughter occasionally and enjoy each other’s sense of humour. I hope that certain members will forgive me for some of the actions I have taken today. They have nothing to do with me. I blame them all on Mildred; she is just a very bad-tempered little cow. [5]

[…]

Mr R.F. JOHNSON: […] I remember when the Leader of the House was in the position that I now occupy. I remember when the Acting Premier was on this side of the House doing the job that I am doing now. They seem to think that I behave strangely and unreasonably sometimes. However, that is not the case. If they worked their memories, they would remember that it is a lot harder trying to keep government ministers accountable from this side than it is from that side of the House. We can ask all the questions we like, but we just wish we could get some answers once in a blue moon. However, this is not the time to criticise members; this is a time for goodwill to all men and women.

Ms M.M. Quirk: And Mildred!

Mr R.F. JOHNSON: Yes, and Mildred! I sincerely wish all members on the other side of the House and their families a very happy Christmas. I hope they have a very peaceful, healthy and safe new year. Believe it or not, I do want to see them back in this Chamber when we resume in March. I would hate anything untoward to happen to any one of them.
That is the truth. I say that from the heart, and Mildred does too! [6]

[…]

MR N.R. MARLBOROUGH (Peel – Parliamentary Secretary) [9.25 pm]: I wish all members a merry Christmas and a happy new year. I also want to pay due deference to the cow that has played a predominant role in today’s proceedings.

Mr R.F. Johnson: Her name is Mildred.

Mr N.R. MARLBOROUGH: I take the opportunity to sing one of my favourite cow songs for Mildred. With your indulgence, Mr Speaker, it goes something like this –

Why does a brown cow eat green grass when it always gives white milk?
That’s the burning question, it gives you indigestion.
Why does a brown cow eat green grass when it always gives white milk? Oi!

THE SPEAKER (Mr F. Riebeling): It is a somewhat hard act to follow the member for Peel after he has sung. [7]

Date: 4 December 2003 [online (pdf)]

[1] Subject: Statutes (Repeals and Minor Amendments) Bill 2001 [Legislative Assembly – Second Reading]; p. 14283
[2] Subject: Excision from Class A Reserve 29813, Wireless Hill Park, Ardross [Legislative Assembly – Motion for Disallowance]; p. 14296
[3] Subject: Excision from Class A Reserve 29813, Wireless Hill Park, Ardross [Legislative Assembly – Motion for Disallowance]; p. 14297
[4] Subject: Adjournment of the House [Legislative Assembly]; p. 14301
[5] Subject: Adjournment of the House [Legislative Assembly]; p. 14303
[6] Subject: Adjournment of the House [Legislative Assembly]; p. 14303
[7] Subject: Adjournment of the House [Legislative Assembly]; p. 14305

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