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Off the Record | The Advertiser

With Michael McGuire & Paul Starick | The Advertiser

Breaking the house rules

If you have had the misfortune to wander down North Terrace and popped your head into parliament this year, you may have noticed it’s even more unruly than usual.

MPs, mostly Labor but the occasional Lib as well, are being kicked out of the chamber by Speaker Vincent Tarzia so often a revolving door will soon need to be installed.

So far in 2019, 24 pollies have been booted a total of 168 times from the lower house. And there are still five sitting weeks to go.

Last year’s numbers were 20 MPs being kicked out a combined 85 times.

KICK-‘EM-OUT-Tom-Koutsantonis-tops-the-list-of-the-most-kicked-out-MPs-in-2019-AAP-Image-Dean-Martin.jpg

KICK ‘EM OUT: Tom Koutsantonis tops the list of the most kicked out MPs in 2019. (AAP Image-Dean/Martin)

Retaining his crown as the king of the heave-ho, the earl of the ejection, the baron of banishment is Labor’s Tom Koutsantonis. The former treasurer has been ousted 27 times in 2019. In only 41 sitting days. The frequently ejected Koutsantonis rejected any notion he was badly behaved. He said the issue was the Speaker’s bias and determination to protect the government from hard questions.

“The speaker is especially sensitive to any criticism of the premier’s land tax policies and any mention of Wok in a Box will see you removed for all of question time,’’ he said.

Speaker of Parliament, Liberal MP Vincent Tarzia in the Lower House chamber. Picture: AAP/Mike Burton

Speaker of Parliament, Liberal MP Vincent Tarzia in the Lower House chamber. Picture: AAP/Mike Burton.

Tarzia rejected this and said he tried to be “firm but fair’’.

Koutsantonis was joined on the podium by colleagues Michael Brown and Stephen Mullighan who posted 17 and 15 departures respectively. Opposition leader Peter Malinauskas made the walk of shame 10 times.

The baddest of the bad boy Libs were backbenchers Sam Duluk and Adrian Pederick who walked six times apiece.

MPs kicked out of SA Parliament this year
  • Tom Koutsantonis (ALP) – 27 times
  • Michael Brown (ALP) – 17
  • Stephen Mullighan (ALP) – 15
  • Jayne Stinson (ALP) – 12
  • Peter Malinauskas (ALP) – 10
  • Tony Piccolo (ALP) – 8
  • Chris Picton (ALP) – 8
  • Leon Bignell (ALP) – 7
  • Eddie Hughes (ALP) – 7
  • Lee Odenwalder (ALP) – 7
  • Zoe Bettison (ALP) – 6
  • Blair Boyer (ALP) – 6
  • Sam Duluk (Lib) – 6
  • Adrian Pederick (Lib) – 6
  • Katrine Hildyard (ALP) – 5
  • Joe Szakacs (ALP) – 4
  • Susan Close (ALP) – 3
  • Tim Whetstone (Lib) – 3
  • Dan Cregan (Lib) – 2
  • John Gardner (Lib) – 2
  • Stephen Patterson (Lib) – 2
  • David Pisoni (Lib) – 2
  • Josh Teague (Lib) – 2
  • Nat Cook (ALP) – 1

Upstairs in the Legislative Council, standing orders do not permit President Andrew McLachlan to throw people out but it is hard to deny tensions have been running high this year.

A video (see above) put together by some of the Liberal’s political opponents has laid bare some cringe-worthy interactions for Trade Minister David Ridgway.

McLachlan told Off The Record he treats everyone equally before adding “some of my colleagues require a little more love and attention than others.”