Debate on motion to adjourn debate

Ms Britnell (South-West Coast): I rise to support the motion put forward by the member for Ripon—

A member interjected.

Ms Britnell: Supporting the motion and we are opposing a motion. Absolutely we are opposing a motion. The motion we oppose is because we do require a legislative process that gives us the respectful amount of time, that has been accepted at the minimum to be 14 days for a very long time. Now, this government over the last few years just continues to rush legislation through. So here we are today just minutes ago getting a bill about a very important subject of mental health. We are in the middle of a pandemic. We are all aware of the absolute front-of-mind challenge of people really struggling. That is on the back of a royal commission that was six years in the making, where people know already that the system is breaking. So we have had a long time to do some fixing, but we have not seen this government act. They have waited for the royal commission report, and there were so many things that could have been done in the interim that they have not done. Yet, here we are with a bill on mental health and improving the system, and instead of using the process where we have the respect to be able to go out to our communities and give them the time they need to study the bill and give proper feedback so we can debate with respect to their views in this place, this government just says, ‘Now, let’s rush it through’.

Now, okay, it is 13 days versus 14 days. Why is it that they continue to do this? It is because they can. The hubris nature of this government is extraordinary, and it just keeps growing, because what we see week after week is bills getting rushed through. Now, why could you not debate it on the Wednesday? I think what you are doing is completely doing the overreach because you know you have got the numbers in the Assembly. You are not interested in consultation. You are not interested in listening to the debate points brought forward by our communities. This is not me standing here. I am the voice of South-West Coast. They will feed to me over the next two weeks—and less in this instance—the information they would like me to bring forward that they are concerned about. If they get a chance to read it in that time, they will do that. It is just like the bill we are about to move to, the health systems platform improvements across hospitals. We have had six days. Now, this is mandating hospitals to introduce new information systems. The government is so arrogant now that when we went to the bill briefing about it and asked about costs—no, they could not answer that question. No costs available. We asked about the business case—have not done one. You know, these are things that the community needs to have reassurance on that this government can actually manage.

Well, if you cannot manage a legislative program, if you are that disorganised that you cannot even manage to put the normal two-week process in place, that you are rushing things through because you have not even looked at the legislative program, it just says one thing: you are not interested in listening to your communities, you are not interested in the fair and reasonable processes that ensure our communities have the respect of being able to feed back to you the information that will affect them once these changes take place and giving them the opportunity to actually make changes and respectfully listen to that.

Fourteen days is all we have asked for, and yet it is six days one week and 13 days the next week. It is a total disregard for the community, a community who have been struggling more than ever. Mental health is one of the really big challenges that must be coming into your office. It is coming into mine day after day—people writing to me, people ringing me, people begging me to help them get appointments to see specialists who have mental health capabilities. There are just not the skilled people. There is just not the funding available. That is what this is about. Not that we have had a chance to look at this bill, but from what I understood when the minister introduced it, the overarching concept was to make sure we improve the mental health system. Well, why wouldn’t you want to do that properly? Why wouldn’t you want to give the respect to the community and listen to them?

This is not about us standing up here, insulted by losing one day. This is us standing up here representing our communities and saying, ‘Show some respect and do things properly so that we have the opportunity to consult our communities’. That is not that big of an ask. But if you are so arrogant now that you think you do not even need this place, if you are not interested in the process and you want to rush bills through that you do not even think it is necessary to consult your community on, if you want to introduce legislation and have no budget for it even, then you will fail. (Time expired)

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