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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 139..


Mr Moore: This motion is about the suspension of standing orders. You cannot speak to the substantive motion.

MR QUINLAN: I am debating the gravity of the question and the motion that I intend to move.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, you are at the moment. You may not debate the motion itself, but you may put a case for the suspension of standing orders.

MR QUINLAN: I think it is necessary that this house, the ACT Assembly, at least debate the issue and then invite the Treasurer to have the courtesy to give it the information that he is prepared to disseminate outside this place.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (3.47): Speaking in support of the points made by the shadow Treasurer, my colleague Mr Quinlan, it really is quite rank as far as I am concerned that we, through question time today as well as in many of the Chief Minister's media comments in recent times, have been treated in this way over this so-called consultative draft budget process.

It is an insult to the parliament, it is an insult to each of the members of this place, it is a contempt of this place that the Chief Minister should reveal to parties unknown to me all of the details of his draft budget without doing the courtesy of advising anybody in this place what his plans are, what his intentions are, what the content of that draft budget is. He was in here today talking about some of the things he is going to do, beating his breast and speaking, as far as we are concerned, in tongues about some of this government's initiatives in the draft budget process. None of us in here have any idea what it is that he was talking about, what it is that he was alluding to.

That is not a disability suffered by any of the media in town and it is not a disability suffered by any of the other stakeholders that the government chose to embrace in this budget process, but there was no advice to the members of this place, no advice to the elected representatives, no indication to the members of the Assembly of any of the detail of this draft budget. This is the much vaunted draft budget process. This is the open, transparent and consultative draft budget process, a process that excludes any one of the members of this place who is not a part of the government. It treats us with absolutely no sincerity. That shows the hollowness, the absolute sham, of this process, a process that the government boasts about, a process that it holds up as a model of open consultative government.

The documents have been released, the cat apparently is out of the bag, the Chief Minister stands up in this place and beats his breast about the noble things that he and his government are doing, and he keeps those of us on this side of the house in complete ignorance of the government's plans. It is a genuine contempt of the members of this place. It is treating the parliament with contempt. It is government by press release. We are talking about something as significant as the draft budget and the Chief Minister and Treasurer does not have the common decency, the courtesy, to advise the members of this place of the detail of the draft budget. That highlights what a sham the process is.

Mr Corbell: Hollow men, hollow words.


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