Legislative Council: Wednesday, March 22, 2023


Question Time

First Nations Voice, Parliamentary Sitting

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (14:20): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs regarding the special sitting of parliament on Sunday 26 March 2023.

Leave granted.

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI: Today, at approximately 11.15am, an official invitation was forwarded to members of parliament inviting them to view a special sitting of parliament. Apart from it being very odd that we view our own sitting, it is our understanding from the standing orders that this chamber decides when it sits, not the Premier, much less the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

Standing order 58 quotes that this 'Council can only be adjourned by its own resolution', so my question to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs is: does the minister agree that this document is in contradiction to this chamber's standing orders to recall and to participate in the sitting of the Legislative Council?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:21): I thank the honourable member for her question. Of course, every chamber of every parliament is the master of its own destiny, so it will be up to this chamber to decide when it sits, to the extent that administrative processes are put in place to try to assist members to understand what may or may not occur.

I think that is a good thing, and I note members of the opposition have quite rightly asked for further details about what is being planned, and those are being provided. I think it is appropriate that as much as possible details are provided about what is intended, what is hoped for, and what is planned, but of course every chamber of every parliament in the Westminster system will decide their own destiny.