Libs hold fire as new-look house sits
THE Legislative Council is yet to begin debating key government Bills after the first sitting day of the week.
Upper House MPs spent yesterday discussing special interest matters, which means the Government is yet to test the new make-up of the House following the election of Labor’s Jo Siejka to the seat of Pembroke.
The seat was previously held by former Attorney-General and government MLC Vanessa Goodwin.
Ms Siejka’s election means Labor has four MLCs in the 15seat Upper House, after the party claimed Rumney from conservative independent Tony Mulder in May and Elwick from former Glenorchy mayor Adriana Taylor last year.
In a letter to MLCs, Leader of the Government in the Upper House Leonie Hiscutt said key legislation to be debated this week included the Bill to dismiss Glenorchy City Council and hold fresh elections, and moves to continue phasing out suspended sentences.
Mrs Hiscutt said it was unlikely the Government’s TasWater takeover Bill would come to a vote.
“I take seriously the role of the Legislative Council to scrutinise legislation and if mem- bers have suggestions to improve the outcomes we seek, my door is always open,” Mrs Hiscutt wrote.
“Honourable members, I urge you to come and see me to discuss any requests or inquiries you may have about our upcoming Legislative agenda.”
Earlier this week Opposition Leader Rebecca White wrote to Premier Will Hodgman offering to work with him to progress the Government’s legislative agenda with only a handful of sitting days remaining until the March election.
She said records showed Labor had helped pass a majority of the Government’s legislation. The offer came after Treasurer Peter Gutwein said Labor’s additional seat in the Legislative Council would make it “nigh on impossible” for the Government to pass Bills through the House.
The Government dismissed Ms White’s letter as a stunt.