3 Nov 2018
Adam Langenberg | Off the Record
MISBEHAVING Upper House MPs could soon be given a hypothetical yellow card and sent to the sin bin under a proposal being canvassed by President Andrew McLachlan.
Rowdy MPs currently can only be turfed for a full sitting day, but it requires the assent of a majority of the 22 Upper House MPs.
That was a stumbling block for former president Russell Wortley, whose attempt to eject Liberal MP Michelle Lensink was vetoed by the majority of MLCs during the last term of State Parliament.
That sparked whispers Wortley technically should have resigned as he had lost the confidence of the Upper House.
North Tce insiders say Ann Bressington – elected in 2006 under Nick Xenophon’s No Pokies ticket – voluntarily left the Chamber once during her term, but struggle to remember an MP who was
booted by their peers.
Crossbenchers have been approached about a proposal for the president to unilaterally boot misbehaving MPs for a shorter period, similar to the powers that are afforded to Lower House Speaker Vincent Tarzia.
Treasurer Rob Lucas has assured MPs the changes will only take place with the assent of all parties.
All seven crossbench MPs are believed to be on board with the changes. Labor is likely to be reluctant to make it easier for their MPs to be chucked out of the chamber, but their leader in the Upper
House, Kyam Maher, said he would be open to discussing reform of procedures.
McLachlan said he had “ongoing conversations” with all crossbenchers about how the Upper House was functioning.
“We discuss a range of matters which include the conduct and behaviour of Members in the Chamber as well as options for the reform of the Standing Orders,” he said.