The minority Liberal government’s mishandling of the recall of State Parliament to deal with the status of Supreme Court Justice Gregory Geason has been a complete debacle.
Today’s special additional sitting day was supposed to deal with a motion requesting that her Excellency the Governor suspend Justice Geason.
But around 20 minutes before the Parliament was due to sit, the Attorney General Guy Barnett informed Labor and other MPs that he would be seeking to immediately suspend the Parliament to give Members a briefing.
Precisely what advice has the Attorney General been relying on up to this point? We have called on the Government to provide a copy of the legal advice they have received and to provide the briefing after question time.
This is the third position the government has taken on this issue in the matter of a week, with a dozen different versions of the government’s original bill circulated.
This whole situation is a scandal – with Parliament recalled, at enormous cost to the taxpayer, MPs travelling from right around the state, only to find the government was ready to suspend the parliament one minute into the sitting day.
Clearly the government is trying to avoid question time because the Attorney General wants to avoid answering serious questions.
There is only one way to describe the conduct of the Attorney General and the government in recent weeks and in Parliament today: chaos. Chaos of their own making and an appalling indictment on the entire government.
The mishandling of this issue is symptomatic of this tired, incompetent government that has been in power for 10 years but has completely run out of ideas and steam.