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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 14 Hansard (24 November) . . Page.. 4622..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

morning, did not have the opportunity to finish his speech. It is the tradition of this place to afford members the courtesy of having knowledge of what is going to be brought on.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The Chief Minister sought leave to make a statement in relation to a paper that he presented.

MR SMYTH: And I am explaining why leave was not granted, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: You refused him leave to make a statement in relation to that paper. How can you say that what you are now talking about is relevant?

MR SMYTH: Because leave is granted by courtesy of this place, Mr Speaker. The lack of courtesy this morning in this place brings us all into disrepute. I am just making the point that much is done in this place by courtesy, including, for example, the giving of leave. We do not intend to continue this. We can if you want. We can do this all afternoon. We can call divisions. We can have 15 minutes between each speech.

I do not want to do that. I simply want to make the point to the government that it is time for the government to get organised and for the government whip to inform us of things not on the program that are going to be brought forward. In that way members can be ready so that we can facilitate the smooth running of this place and not have the debacle that the government caused this morning. That is why we are not going to grant leave in this case.

MR SPEAKER: I have to say, Mr Smyth, that you will not get the chance to make that speech again. You ignored my pleas for relevance.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo-Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (3.48): The standing orders should be suspended because it is the common practice for ministers to table papers and provide information to members after question time. If the opposition is saying they do not want that any more, then the government can make that provision. We will not table information and make statements in the Assembly. It will save everyone quite a bit of time and quite a bit of paperwork.

Is that seriously what the opposition is saying? I would have thought that the opposition was interested in scrutinising government. I would have thought that any competent opposition leader would like to see information provided by the executive and to have the opportunity to debate that in this place. But it seems to me that Mr Smyth does not want that. You do not want that, Mr Smyth. You do not want the Chief Minister to table information. You do not want the Chief Minister or ministers to table information on the conduct of their portfolios.

Just what sort of serious opposition are you? "No, no. Don't give us the information. We might have to do some work."This is the Zed Seselja principle of opposition-do not show up to meetings; do not read reports; do not read documents; please do not give us information.

Opposition members interjecting-

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Corbell has the floor.

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