Killing me slowly – the Harbours Amendment Bill 2008

28th January, 2009

I normally associate ‘filibustering’ with giants of the American Senate such as Senators Byrd and Kennedy. This is where a Senator speaks at great length to slow down or stop the passing of a piece of legislation to which he or she is against. Little did I expect to be involved and see such a procedure in action myself. Especially in relation to the Harbour Bill of 2008.

This is been caused by a section of this bill which allows for the amalgamation and integration of local ports. When getting ready for this legislation I spotted this is an issue. I proposed an amendment to allow
for this after proper public consultation.

Senator Denis O’Donovan feels exceptionally strongly about this as one of the ports which are due to be amalgamated is in his constituency. He has been on his feet for hours now. In the last hour he has referred to biblical tales, the detailed accounts of a number of ports and he has put onto the record the content of many reports on harbours.

This could take months to do but I am going to support this process. If we had a more powerful parliament there would be no need to do this. But in the absence of this reform I’m happy to resort to this.