“Senate suspended for ten minutes”

caswell-franklyn

Today’s sitting of the Senate was suspended for ten minutes in the midst of controversy.

Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn once again expressed his dissatisfaction with the continued late circulation of documents to members ahead of debate.

Government Senator Kay McConney had moments earlier moved the first reading of the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill which would provide greater transparency and compliance with international regulations in the financial sector.

After acknowledgment from President of the Senate Sir Richard Cheltenham, Franklyn said he had no intention of delaying Government’s business, but pointed out he was being asked to support an amendment he had not seen.

“This rush job thing we are doing has to stop,” Franklyn declared, adding that he had only received the document ten seconds before he rose to his feet.

McConney then moved to have the bill read a second time.

Franklyn rose again to say he only saw the bill after it was called and did not know its context. He said if it had been circulated, it was not sent to him.

Government Senators Rudy Grant and Lisa Cummins said the debate should continue and the President urged senators to stay abreast of what was happening in the House of Assembly since the decisions there would come before them.

He then ruled in favour of the Government motion for the suspension.

When they resumed, the bill was passed. (SAT)