Budget speech

Extract from Hansard
[COUNCIL — Tuesday, 9 August 2011]
Hon Max Trenorden; Hon Lynn MacLaren


Consideration of Tabled Papers

Resumed from an earlier stage of the sitting.

HON LYNN MacLAREN (South Metropolitan) [5.32 pm]: I rise to speak to the motion before us in support
of the budget. Obviously, it is fair to say that today economies around the world are struggling. Anybody who
has seen the news lately would have seen the chart of the falling stock markets around the world. Usually there is
the image of a worried face, often of an older person or a retiree who finds himself or herself vulnerable to stock
market crashes. That is partly because we have superannuation in this country and the future for a lot of those
people is tied up in the future of the investment market.

The reliance on investment is even worse because the rapidly increasing cost of living has meant that people are
using more to get by in their daily lives. State government policy has played a crucial role in increasing the cost
of living along with, of course, interest rates and other factors not directly under our control, such as transport
costs due to fuel pricing and WA’s two-speed economy that has cashed-up mining workers competing for
housing and goods and services with people in other sectors not as generously rewarded. In Western Australia
and in Australia unemployment is high; homelessness is high; and the rates of consumerism and housing
affordability are low, as we have discussed numerous times in this chamber. But things are worse in other
countries. Over the July break, I was fortunate enough to visit my family in the United States, and I can tell
members that it is much worse there. Unemployment there is over nine per cent and is in fact much worse in
some places. Many homes are on the market for sale—being repossessed because people have been unable to
make their payments—and the retail sector is flagging. When I was there, the local Borders bookstore closed. I
was able to make some good purchases on sale items but I can tell members that my heart went out to the
workers behind the counter; there were about 11 of them and they were all facing unemployment. It is much
more difficult to be unemployed in America. Yes, Borders in Australia is facing that issue of trying to
consolidate. Luckily the whole chain has not closed.

Hon Kate Doust: No, because the chain here was actually owned by Angus and Robertson. They purchased it
about 18 months ago, so they are in a different situation in Australia.

Hon LYNN MacLAREN: Although it is a similar situation for many bookstores. In my town of Fremantle some
bookstores are consolidating.

That is just a very small snapshot of the big picture of what is happening because we are in a global economy
that is currently struggling. The point I would like to make today is about measures we as state legislators in
Western Australia can take to try to assist people who are suffering because of these changes.

I want to make note of the ABC, which reported last night that the ratio of debt to gross domestic product in
countries such as Canada, the United States and even the United Kingdom is in the order of 70 per cent to
80 per cent. That is therefore a massive difference from the debt ratio to GDP in Australia, which is just
7.4 per cent. The commentator on the ABC explicitly said that we do not have anywhere near as big a problem as
these other countries do. The commentator mentioned Japan in particular where the debt ratio to GDP is
130 per cent. It could be a whole lot worse, so we are in a good position. This means that more of our funds are
available for services and to drive and invest in our economy in these times when the pot of money elsewhere is
shrinking. I draw your attention, Mr Deputy President (Hon Col Holt), to today’s The West Australian. Jessica
Irvine makes the final comment in her article headed “US credit downgrade says everything and nothing” as
follows —

Much will depend on politicians accepting a “hair of the dog” prescription: that the answer to the world
debt crisis is more government debt and spending to stimulate economies out of recession. The
prospects of such a political consensus have been severely downgraded of late.

However, in the comments I want to make in response to the budget today I want to focus on four examples of
how state government policies can drive a stronger economy with more employment and a better, more
sustainable way of life for Western Australians. Those four areas are, firstly, urban planning, where we can
reduce the cost of living and increase the quality of life by the decisions on urban planning that we make in this
place; secondly, affordable housing can improve community life, reduce health costs and the cost of justice
services and increase employment; thirdly, investment in efficient transport infrastructure can reduce travel costs
and emissions as well; and, finally, I will outline a better economic alternative to the live export industry in
which Western Australia is currently involved.

Just on the matter of urban planning, as I mentioned, over July I visited the United States and I was fortunate
enough to conduct a field study in Portland, Oregon. Portland, Oregon is well known for its sustainable urban
planning; our own Minister for Planning recently visited there and was inspired by its transit-oriented
developments. I walked through the Pearl and Waterfront districts, guided by people from Portland university
who are very keen to show off how they have developers working with regional planners to deliver more
liveable cities. They are walkable neighbourhoods, they are places with active street fronts and a thriving
commercial sector, and they have affordable housing and some pretty nice condominiums with river views. In
the Waterfront district, where I drew parallels with our own waterfront in Perth, there is a thriving medical
research facility that not only delivers services to the medical industry, but also trains young people in a range of
new research fields. People are living and working in the same place. It is a beautiful place, and it is actually a
brownfield development, which means that it was, at one time, industry—it was railway marshalling yards.

One of the most inspiring places was called Mirabella, which is a continuing care retirement home. People can
retire into a luxury apartment, and as they get older and if their care needs to be increased, they can move into
several levels of care right there in the same neighbourhood so that they can walk to their normal store, keep the
same neighbours, keep the relationships they have developed in the community, and live their lives quite
comfortably. It was very inspirational, and I will talk more on that when we look at the Cockburn coast
metropolitan region scheme amendment.

But to wrap up my thoughts around urban planning and how we can make decisions that will assist us to keep the
cost of living down, I will read something about this development from the Portland website. According to my
notes, by limiting parking, expanding green space and installing a streetcar line, Portland achieved a successful
high-density, pedestrian-friendly environment, and integrated affordable housing into the mix. That is a worthy
goal. It is a policy decision, but we need developers to be innovative and to be supported by policies that will
deliver these outcomes for Western Australians. I see it happening, and it is very exciting that we have a state
that is interested in these ideas and that can be in a position to encourage them. I would like to see that.

My second point was on the issue of affordable housing. I want to say that the government has finally tackled the
issue of affordable housing, and it has released its 10-year state affordable housing strategy. When we looked at
the budget to see how that was going to be funded, we saw that the WA government has committed to
20 000 affordable housing opportunities by 2020. I acknowledge that that is a good step forward; however, the
benefits of actually building new housing—that is, more bricks and mortar—are much greater than financial
incentives to access private housing that already exists. Putting social housing tenants in existing private housing
goes some way towards meeting the affordable housing need, but it is not the generator of jobs and economic
activity that building new housing would be. I am still going to encourage the Minister for Housing to go down
that road.

Many jobs are created in the construction phase of new housing. During the debate on the green stimulus
package in New Zealand, the New Zealand Greens estimated that a total of 28 000 jobs would be created by the
addition of 6 000 state houses at an investment of $120 million over three years. That is the kind of leadership I
would like to see from the Western Australian housing minister. The Greens (WA) welcome the state
government’s investment of $150 million over the three years from 2011 to 2014 to meet the housing needs of
some of the most vulnerable in our community—such as clients of the Disability Services Commission, the
Mental Health Commission, and the Drug and Alcohol Office—who will move into these specially built houses.

That is very commendable, and I think that is something in the budget that needs to be acknowledged as a good

As members heard today in question time, I am concerned about the financial implications of the government’s
disruptive behaviour management policy, not to mention the social impact. According to research by the
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, an increased number of evictions of people with multiple and
complex needs may also result in direct and indirect costs, with limited benefits for the management of social
housing and the creation of additional demands on the public and community housing sector. Evictions generate
a number of challenges that include evictees who end up in high-cost hospital or other institutions, children
separated from their parents, the education of children disrupted, and additional demands placed on community
housing and crisis accommodation; the majority of evicted persons end up homeless. These are people we need
to look after. We just have to bite the bullet and accept that. We cannot just evict people into space. They will
end up somewhere, and we need to find ways to solve that problem. We are creating a bigger problem by solving
the problem of socially disruptive tenants. We acknowledge that an effective policy response is needed to tackle
this issue; we are not saying it does not exist. This is a big issue. Disruptive and antisocial behaviour by tenants
in public and social housing needs to be dealt with; however, we are concerned about the three strikes policy,
and we do not want it to produce unintended consequences like creating increased costs for government and
social impacts on the community that will increase the demand on the already overloaded community services.

My point is made.

One of the other issues I wanted to address is transport. Spending on safe, efficient and reliable transport
infrastructure will put Perth residents and businesses on a better economic footing, no matter their circumstances.
A wealthy homeowner in one of our blue ribbon, I guess, suburbs—maybe Peppermint Grove or Dalkeith or
something—will still benefit if good public transport system infrastructure is in place. The roads will not be as
congested and people will be able to get to their appointments quicker. It makes good economic sense for
whatever layer of the economy people are in. Reducing traffic congestion makes business more efficient and
reduces pollution. It keeps travel costs down and improves efficiency and affordability. I commend the
government for finally releasing its “Public Transport for Perth in 2031”. It did that in July, and I do not know
how much media it got because, as I said, I was out of the country. The government has invested $13.8 million to
provide additional bus services. It is really important to have some access to public transport, but a greater
investment is needed to recover from the years of underinvestment in public transport. Yet again, we have this
gap of not having enough rail services and not taking the opportunity of place-making by establishing light rail.

It was encouraging to see that the government is going to invest $1.5 million in concept and feasibility studies
for a light rail system, but it has put the implementation of that out for two or three elections from now. Really,
we need something much sooner; that horizon is too far off. People need choice and public transport alternatives
now. For an estimated $15 million to $29 million a kilometre, we could have an extensive light rail system
throughout the metropolitan area. We know what the cost is, and we need to see that leadership taken in
investing that money now. It is especially disappointing for me as a member for the South Metropolitan Region
that the Cities of Fremantle, Cockburn and Melville have been denied light rail this time. The light rail network
should not be limited to the north eastern corridor. I note that the government intends to extend the heavy rail to
Yanchep, and will potentially be putting light rail in Mirrabooka. It can be used as a catalyst for the infill
development we need to restrict the urban footprint. We should take that opportunity and revitalise our key urban
centres. Fremantle needs some revitalisation, and having a link to places like Melville and Booragoon is a nobrainer;
to have a light rail in place to serve all the seniors, in particular, who live in and around Booragoon, so
that they can get into Fremantle and enjoy the many theatre and art opportunities available there. It is just a nobrainer,
and I do not understand why we have not been able to do that. We need to bring affordability back to the
inner city and take the pressure off the urban fringe.

Over the weekend, I supported the launch of the Road to Rail campaign, which is a local campaign to revitalise
the very good idea of the former Labor government of trying to improve our freight network by using rail rather
than trucks to move freight around the city. The former government had a very good goal of moving 30 per cent
of our freight onto rail. Right now the people of Fremantle, who are really suffering from the additional truck
traffic, are keen to campaign to bring back that goal. I support that campaign. It is also supported by Hon Ken
Travers, the shadow Minister for Transport. I can tell members that there is quite a bit of energy and enthusiasm
around that campaign.

The government’s continued investment in the expansion of our metropolitan road network, however, while
simultaneously dismantling the tier 3 rail network and removing the rail freight subsidy, shows that the
government really has its head in the sand when it comes to dealing with the looming crisis of peak oil and
climate change. There are so many good reasons for getting our freight off the road and onto rail. I am going to
list a couple of them.

There are climate change impacts. A single 600-metre train can carry the load of 50 or 80 trucks, if the loads are
double stacked. Those are shocking figures, and it makes one wonder why we are not doing it already. Per
container, road transport consumes about four times as much fuel as rail on a short haul, and more than six times
as much on a long haul across Australia. As I have mentioned, we also have the spectre of peak oil looming
before us. That is the point in time at which the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after
which the rate of production enters terminal decline, as they say. Many organisations feel that we have already
reached this level of peak oil; others believe it may be only a few years off. Either way, all we need to do is
future-proof our economies so that we are not affected by this potentially catastrophic change in our global

There are health concerns around particulate pollution, which is connected with truck diesel engines, and there
are noise issues, road safety issues and amenity concerns when there are more trucks on our roads, with massive
freeways bisecting our communities. These externalities are often not considered when assessing the economic
impacts of different modes of transport—whether we decide to go by road or rail—but they should be
considered. These externalities matter greatly, and they create costs for the government—increased health costs,
for instance. Between 2000 and 2008, there were 4 945 crashes involving heavy vehicles on Western Australian
roads. Of these crashes, 110 involved fatalities. The cost of road traffic–related industry and death is $1 billion
annually. These are costs that the government needs to be aware of, so when we invest in rail, it is not throwing
money away; it is actually reducing the health costs and potential costs of this congestion in traffic, and the
accidents we have on our roads. Air pollution costs Perth $4 million a year in health costs. There are many
economic imperatives for reducing our truck transportation.

In spite of this, the government seems hell-bent on increasing the number of trucks on our roads, to the detriment
of our health and safety environment, and our future economic stability in the face of oil prices going up. Over
the past year, the government started dismantling the tier 3 rail lines, destroying bush in the process. It also
finalised plans for the proposed Roe Highway stage 8 extension. A further $3.7 million was allocated in this
year’s budget, on top of the $16.8 million that was allocated before, and that is just looking at the consultation
and planning phases. As members know, I have clearly identified Roe stage 8 as a road to nowhere. It is
financially and, I say, morally bankrupt. The direct costs are high, but the indirect costs are much higher.

Broader economic impacts on traffic congestion, health and loss of amenity in the area are massive; however, the
consequences of losing an ecosystem are much, much greater. Roe 8 will cost at least $551 million; more than
half a billion dollars is a high price to pay for this road with questionable benefits. It is out for public submission
now, and people are encouraged to come to the rally that is on this weekend to oppose this road and to try to save
Beeliar wetlands. If it goes ahead, it will clear another 79 hectares of Carnaby’s cockatoo habitat. This species is
severely threatened, as we all know, with initial indications from the Great Cocky Count this year suggesting that
species numbers have declined by a third, and for what? According to a public environmental review document,
to increase efficiency of freight movements to and from key generators and the Fremantle port. Needless to say, I
do not agree with that purpose, and I will do everything I can in my power to ensure that that ridiculous plan
never comes to fruition.

I am well aware that time is marching on, and I will have another opportunity to discuss the Road to Rail
campaign, so I want to finish my remarks on live exports. There is a better economic alternative to live exports.
The importance of the live export trade to Australian farmers and workers is now subject to a Senate inquiry. I
urge members to make submissions to that inquiry. The value of the live export trade was close to $1 billion in
2009. Of the 950 000 cattle exported, 81 per cent went to Indonesia; 3.5 million sheep were exported, of which
approximately 950 000 went to Kuwait, and 747 000 to Bahrain. Malaysia was the major destination market for
Australian goats, with a market share of 91 per cent. With the closure of abattoirs in Wyndham, Derby, Broome
and Carnarvon, pastoralists are very dependent on the live export trade. These figures indicate that the live
export trade is important to the Australian economy, but it pays to examine them much more closely. The Greens
(WA) have consistently argued that local meat production would be far better, for both the animals that are
transported long distances for slaughter and the Australian economy, than exporting live animals. Although our
policy is clear that the trade should cease immediately, we have also supported the thousands of petitioners who
have called for investigations into how it can be phased out to enable the meat industry to ramp up while farmers
and pastoralists adjust their operations. In October 2009, shortly after I was elected, the ACIL Tasman report,
“The value of live sheep exports from Western Australia”, was released. The report concluded that a sheep
processed domestically is worth 20 per cent more to the Australian economy than one exported live, due to the
capacity to add value in Australia. Other key findings of that report were that the value of live sheep exports to
farmers and the economy is very small compared with other rural commodities. Now is the time to signal a
phase-out of live sheep exports, because the industry is already undergoing major structural reform. The farmers
are already moving away from live sheep exports and into more profitable areas, such as prime lamb and
cropping. On mixed farming businesses, there are many uses for sheep, and the transition for farmers from live
sheep to sheep meat is relatively simple. I can see that members from the Mining and Pastoral Region and
Agricultural Region are listening with interest; I know that is because they are thinking that what we are talking
about is different land. We are talking about pastoral land. It is marginal land and we are talking about cattle that
we raise only to a certain weight so that they can be exported on ships and fattened overseas.

Sitting suspended from 6.00 to 7.30 pm

Hon LYNN MacLAREN: I was remarking on the different ways state government policies can generate a better
economy here in Western Australia. In the last example, I was discussing the alternative to live exports and how,
economically, that can be more beneficial to Western Australia. I will continue with the remarks I was making
about the ACIL Tasman report of October 2009, entitled “The value of live sheep exports from Western
Australia”. That report made several key findings, including that the value of live sheep exports to farmers and
the economy is very small compared with that of other rural commodities. The report states that now is the time
to signal a phase-out of live sheep exports because the industry is already undergoing major structural reform. It
also says that farmers are at least already moving away from live sheep exports and into more profitable areas
such as prime lamb and cropping, and that in mixed farming businesses there are many uses for sheep and the
transition for farmers from live sheep to sheepmeat is relatively simple. Phasing out live sheep exports will not
affect the price of lamb or mutton in the long term. Finally, the report concluded by saying that the farm level
adjustments required to phase out live sheep exports would not be extensive compared with changes that are
already underway in the industry.

A second report from ACIL Tasman was released subsequent to that, entitled “Economic analysis of Australian
live sheep and sheep meat trade”, which looked in more detail at the economic value of exporting meat. It
proposed a number of strategies by which sheepmeat exports could be increased, including, of course,
promotional campaigns that could drive demand for Australian beef and lamb in Australia’s major export
markets. This is one of those strategies that our government can support. This is one of the strategies that we
have debated at some length, and it is not the responsibility of animal rights activists to come up with alternative
markets. Indeed, it is a demand that our Department of Agriculture and our marketing departments should seek
to generate. The ACIL Tasman report said that the Australian government could potentially replicate New
Zealand’s policy efforts to increase its access to the European Union market. New Zealand’s duty free quota for
sheepmeat is by far the largest in the EU. There has been an argument for some time that Australia deserves a
piece of that market. Improvements in competitiveness through more efficient use of water and energy,
maximising the recovery of saleable meat and edible offal, improving working conditions, increasing
reproductive rates, decreasing mortality rates, reducing age at sale, and lowering the cost of production are other
strategies that can be used for increasing sheepmeat exports.

Before we broke for dinner I was touching on the fact that over the past few weeks, many members of this house
have discussed the plight of the pastoralists who have been exporting cattle to Indonesia. The pastoralist industry
has grown in the north to exploit the opportunity of exporting cattle from marginal rangelands to be fattened at
their destination. As the producers expanded and changed their stock to breeds that met the demand of overseas
buyers—we are talking about bos indicus rather than bos taurus breeds—the local processing industry was
choked with the supply of animals for slaughter to sustain the abattoirs and the downstream processing
industries. Now we have a situation in which the local abattoir industry has shrunk and in the north has
disappeared altogether. I believe I mentioned to members before that in the days following the Four Corners
report I sat down with the agriculture minister’s advisers, who told me in no uncertain terms that the
infrastructure for abattoirs at the various places I mentioned, including Wyndham and Derby, had all but
disappeared. They are gone; there is only a cement pad left. That is the degree to which we have put all our eggs
in one basket, that basket being the export of live animals. Farmers and pastoralists have not diversified; they are
completely vulnerable to the export market. Many members on the other side have mentioned this in their
member statements regarding the live exports dilemma they find themselves in. Ironically, they are in the same
situation now that they were in decades ago when the power of the unionised workforce in the meatworks
industry controlled what farmers paid for their animals, leaving them little option other than to sell their
livestock elsewhere. That is ironic because in the beginning they established the live sheep trade to create some
competition for the local abattoir industry. Now they are stuck with the live exports and they do not have the
local abattoir industry to compete with the live exporters. The live meat export industry may have been attractive
at first as competition for local abattoirs, but it has failed to deliver a sustainable and diversified market for

The Senate inquiry is looking also at whether it is possible to replace the live export trade with a processed and
packaged meat export trade and at what effect such a replacement might have on the Australian economy. I draw
members’ attention to the fact that in New Zealand live exports started to be phased out in 2003 when 60 000
sheep were stranded in the Mediterranean en route to the Middle East, and most of them died after weeks of
suffering. From that time there was an immediate and almost total ban on sheep exports. In New Zealand the ban
was extended to live cattle in 2007 with the support of the farming community. In an interview with Geraldine
Doogue on ABC radio’s Saturday Extra on 18 June 2011, John Anderton, who was the New Zealand Minister
for Agriculture and is now the Deputy Prime Minister, stated that it was a “combination of concern for animal
welfare and fear of an economic backlash if New Zealand gained a reputation for treating animals badly that
drove the ban on live exports”. He went on to say that, in any event, live export is the lowest form of commodity
export whereby the exporter loses the added value of local processing, so “why would you risk blowing a far
more lucrative business in favour of a trade that not only risks your reputation but gives you a lower return?”
New Zealand currently has a lucrative export trade of processed meat to many international markets, including
the USA, Japan and Europe. If the transition from live meat export to processed and packaged meat export
makes sense on animal welfare and economic grounds and was accomplished in New Zealand with so little fuss,
and with the support of the farming community I remind members, there is no reason it should not be similarly
accomplished here in Australia.

The Western Australian Farmers Federation’s position on the suspension of live exports to Indonesia is that by
undermining Indonesia’s food security, the live export suspension will also trigger starvation for many of our
northern neighbours. This statement is not only unsubstantiated, but also untrue. On average, Indonesians eat
two kilograms of red meat each year, so even the complete removal of Australian beef would make virtually no
difference whatsoever, except to the more affluent Indonesians who tend to eat Australian beef. Moreover, the
Indonesian government plans to be self-sufficient in beef by 2014. This is not a long-term market that we should
encourage Western Australian farmers to depend on. The marketing manager for Wellard Rural Exports noted in
correspondence, which I believe many of us received, that the live export feedlot and slaughter industry provides
employment opportunities in Indonesia, but fails to mention that this industry competes with the meat industry in
Australia and therefore reduces the number of local jobs available.

I want to do the courtesy of responding to some of the comments about live exports made by six members during
members’ statements over the past few weeks. None of them seemed to agree with the economic statistics that
were quoted, and I would like to get to the bottom of that, perhaps through parliamentary questions. However,
the first member who spoke claimed that the industry was worth $250 million and 1 000 jobs. He said 185 000
cattle from the Kimberley were being exported to Indonesia and of the total 370 000 cattle exported from
Western Australia, 80 per cent went to Indonesia. The second speaker said there was $170 million worth of
economic value in the live cattle export trade and that 800 jobs were involved. The third speaker said there was
about 100 000 cattle in the north west, which again is down from that 185 000 that were going to Indonesia. The
fourth speaker said the economic value to Western Australia was $100 million, again dropping further; however,
I believe it was Hon Wendy Duncan who said she had heard that day that 28 000 direct and indirect jobs were
lost through the suspension of the trade to Indonesia. That is a hugely inflated number and really we should get
to the bottom of exactly how many jobs and how much money we are talking about in relation to the live cattle
export trade.

I want to finish by saying that some of the jobs that have been stated to be at risk include those helicopter pilots
who do the long-distance musters. Fuel companies have claimed that they are not selling as much fuel because
transport is reduced. We had a great story about a very innovative family who provided feed to the ports for the
cattle before they went on board the ships or while they were in holding pens. I put it to members that these jobs,
rather than being at risk, would still exist if we had a processed meat trade; however, there would be additional
jobs because these cattle would be mustered and transported to abattoirs instead of ports. We know that abattoirs
have a multiplier effect of 3.4 or four jobs; for every meat worker employed in an abattoir, at least three jobs are
created in related industries. Therefore, if we were concerned about the economic wellbeing of the northern
pastoralists, that is a job creation strategy that the state government could embrace.

The only issue that I have not addressed is the fattening of the animals. The cattle that are now being raised—this
transition has been over only the past few years—are cattle that the Indonesian market eats and that the
Australian market has not adjusted to; it is not to its taste. I know that a member in the federal Parliament has
suggested and has actually approached, I believe, Coles and Woolworths to see whether they would accept the
bos indicus meat for mince and whether that could be a market for that meat in case we never find a humane way
to slaughter cattle in Indonesia.

Therefore, my point is that state government policies can affect the economy. We can serve the interests of those
people who believe that the welfare of the animals is a significant factor that this government should legislate for
and we can also employ all the people who are currently employed, plus more, in the abattoir industry.
Therefore, I put that argument to the house as a counterpoint to the argument of the six members who addressed
this issue over the several weeks previous. As the four examples that I have used illustrate, state government
policies can drive a stronger economy with more employment and a better, more sustainable way of life for
Western Australians. I urge members, particularly ministers of this government, to seek opportunities in these
times of economic uncertainty to create jobs for Western Australians, improve the availability of affordable
housing and transport, and diversify our export markets to reduce the vulnerability that we have recently
witnessed in the case of the pastoralists who are dependent on live exports. Hopefully more Western Australians
will not suffer the same fate if, for instance, the Chinese market for iron ore falters in the current global
downturn. So, I support the motion.

Debate adjourned, on motion by Hon Ken Baston.