CONSIDERATION OF URGENT MOTIONS
Grafton Education Facilities
Mr FRASER (Coffs Harbour) [3.11]: My motion, that this House condemns the Minister for Education and Training for his failure to provide adequate educational facilities and staffing at Grafton on the north coast, is urgent because of the by-election in the Clarence electorate this weekend. It is urgent because the Labor Party candidate for the seat of Clarence, Mr Harry Woods, claims in the electorate that he has influence with the Carr Government.
Mr Gibson: On a point of order. Reluctant as I am to raise a point of order, as I realise that the honourable member for Coffs Harbour has only 4½ minutes left to him, I must point out that he has to establish why his motion for urgent consideration should take priority over one other. He cannot substantially debate the details of the matter. He has to convince the Chamber that his is the more
important motion for urgent consideration. I ask you to bring the honourable member back to what he is trying to establish and the reason that his motion should be debated today, not the subject matter of the motion.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member's point of order is premature.
Mr FRASER: This motion is urgent because Harry Woods is claiming influence with Bob Carr. We know he has none. It is urgent because Harry Woods in election advertising is saying that his election would not result in a change of government but would give the electorate a real say. My motion is urgent because the cuts in funding for educational facilities demonstrate that Harry Woods has no influence with the Government. It is urgent because the Minister for Education and Training has cut $40,000 in funding to the Grafton public school for a project that was to cost -
Mr McManus: On a point of order. The honourable member is flouting your ruling. The honourable member for Coffs Harbour is debating the issue rather than giving members an opportunity to determine whether his motion should take priority over one other - not the fact that a Labor Party candidate -
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I have heard enough from the honourable member for Bulli on the point of order. The honourable member for Coffs Harbour is attempting to explain why his notice should receive priority.
Mr FRASER: My motion is urgent because last year's capital works budget was underspent by $10 million. It is urgent because this Government has cut the budget, including the budget for the north coast, by $22 million.
Mr Whelan: On a point of order. There are two components to my point of order. First, the honourable member has to prove the question of urgency. Second, the honourable member has talked about last year's budget. Something that happened 12 months ago certainly would not indicate urgency. The fact of the matter is that there is only one -
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member for Northcott will refrain from interjecting.
Mr Whelan: There is only one matter of urgency to which the honourable member for Coffs Harbour can point, and that is that there will be a by-election on Saturday and the National Party is scared witless.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I have heard enough from the Minister on the point of order. There is no point of order.
Mr FRASER: My motion is urgent also because the head welfare teacher at Bonalbo central school has suffered a funding cut in the budget. There is no funding for the welfare teacher at Bonalbo school. The motion is urgent because that cut demonstrates to the people of Clarence that Harry Woods has no influence. Harry Woods does not want to know Bob Carr, and Bob Carr does not want to know Harry Woods.
Mr Gibson: On a point of order. Standing orders in this regard are quite clear. The honourable member for Coffs Harbour has to establish why his case is more important than one other. He cannot use his five minutes to debate the subject matter. It does not matter whether Harry Woods is relying on Bob Carr or vice versa. That has nothing to do with the motion for urgent consideration being put before the House today.
Mr Whelan: On the point of order, Mr Speaker -
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I have heard enough on the point of order. What the honourable member for Londonderry said is perfectly true. The notice relates to a condemnation of the Minister for Education and Training for his failure to provide adequate educational facilities and staffing at Grafton on the north coast. The comments by the honourable member for Coffs Harbour bear no resemblance to the subject matter of the notice of motion. The honourable member's time for speaking has expired.
Feral Animal and Weed Control Programs
Mr DEBUS (Blue Mountains - Minister for Corrective Services, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for the Arts) [3.16]: The motion standing in my name should be given priority because the eradication of feral animals and weeds from the Australian environment is one of the most important tasks to be undertaken in order to protect our unique natural heritage. I am especially concerned that Federal Government funding for 10 key conservation programs will run dry next month. There is no sign that the Federal Government intends to continue funding for those programs. That is clearly a breach of the promises made to the Australian electorate before the recent Federal election. The motion should be heard and debated.
Mr O'Doherty: On a point of order. I have the same point of order as that taken several times by the honourable member for Londonderry, to whom the Chair accorded great leniency. The purpose of the Minister's debate is to establish why his motion for urgent consideration should take precedence over the matter that has already been discussed by the honourable member for Coffs Harbour. The honourable member for Coffs Harbour clearly established a case based on matters -
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member is debating the issue. What is the point of order?
Mr O'Doherty: The point is that the Minister in referring to the most recent Federal election, which was some months ago, and is not establishing why his motion is a matter for urgent debate in the House today.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The Minister referred to the current proposal to slash funding.
Mr DEBUS: As I said, the Federal Government is giving no sign that it intends to restore funding for 10 key conservation programs that will run out of funding next month. The motion should be debated and accepted so that we can send a clear message to farmers in this State that they should not tolerate Canberra's cutbacks in the control of feral animals. The motion warrants the highest priority so that we can also dispel the campaign of misinformation that is being waged by the Opposition in the media, alleging the Government's lack of commitment to weed and feral animal eradication. The purpose of my motion is to send a clear signal to Canberra that land-holders will not tolerate an attack on their livelihoods of the kind that would inevitably follow if feral animals and weeds were not controlled. My motion should be given priority because across the State in just one year more than 1,400 goats have been eradicated by the use of various means -
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member for Wakehurst has just entered the Chamber. He should not start interjecting as soon as he enters the Chamber.
Mr DEBUS: Feral animal control programs contribute to many rural economies. Some species could form the basis of an export commodity. Mustered goats could be used -
Mr O'Doherty: On a point of order. Mr Speaker, you were specific in rulings on the matter put before the House previously that the honourable member for Coffs Harbour was not to debate the substance of the matter but why it should be accorded priority. The history of feral animal and weed control is very interesting, but it is not the subject of the question before the House at the moment.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The point of order is upheld.
Mr DEBUS: My motion deserves priority because this Government has the vision and the commitment to rid New South Wales of animal and plant pests in order to preserve our natural environment. It is absolutely necessary that we be able to send appropriate messages of our intention to Canberra and to the people of New South Wales.
Question - That the notice for urgent consideration of Mr Fraser be agreed to - put.
The House divided.
Mr Blackmore Mr D. L. Page
Mr Chappell Mr Peacocke
Mr Collins Mr Phillips
Mr Cruickshank Mr Photios
Mr Debnam Mr Richardson
Mr Ellis Mr Rozzoli
Ms Ficarra Mr Schipp
Mr Fraser Mr Schultz
Mr Glachan Mr Slack-Smith
Mr Hartcher Mr Smith
Mr Hazzard Mr Souris
Mr Humpherson Mr Tink
Dr Kernohan Mr Turner
Ms Machin Mr Windsor
Mr Merton Tellers,
Mr O'Doherty Mr Jeffery
Mr O'Farrell Mr Kerr
Mr Amery Mr Markham
Mr Anderson Mr Martin
Ms Andrews Ms Meagher
Mr Aquilina Mr Mills
Mrs Beamer Ms Moore
Mr Crittenden Mr Moss
Mr Debus Mr Nagle
Mr Face Mr Neilly
Mr Gaudry Mr E. T. Page
Mr Gibson Mr Price
Mrs Grusovin Dr Refshauge
Ms Hall Mr Rogan
Mr Harrison Mr Rumble
Ms Harrison Mr Scully
Mr Hunter Mr Shedden
Mr Iemma Mr Stewart
Mr Knight Mr Sullivan
Mr Knowles Mr Tripodi
Mr Langton Mr Watkins
Mrs Lo Po' Mr Whelan
Mr Lynch Mr Yeadon
Mr McBride Tellers,
Dr Macdonald Mr Beckroge
Mr McManus Mr Thompson
Mr Armstrong Ms Allan
Mr Downy Ms Nori
Question so resolved in the negative.