Shambolic hung parliament defeats bill

A shambolic week in the Legislative Assembly led to the defeat of the Napthine Government’s Jury Directions Bill. The chaos began on Tuesday, when independent MP Geoff Shaw missed a vote. With the chamber hung at 42-42,  the Speaker, Christine Fyffe, used her casting vote to support the Government. The Opposition claimed  this was in breach of a parliamentary convention that the independent speaker should vote for the status quo, and its six acting speakers resigned in protest. The Speaker’s vote passed the government business program, which set a deadline for debate of 4pm on Thursday. The lack of time to debate the Jury Directions Bill prompted Labor to vote against it, and Geoff Shaw voted with them: “It goes against what Parliament stands for, which is a discussion and a debate of legislation. This bill was not afforded that opportunity. And therefore I did not vote in favour of it.” The Government blamed the lack of time on the Opposition filibustering during the week.