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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 3007..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

commence until after 5.00 pm yesterday. Tuesdays are for government business—executive business—and what time did we get to executive business yesterday? I think it was not before 5.00 or 5.30 pm. In fact, I do not think we got to it at all. Not a single item of executive business was dealt with yesterday in the whole day that is supposed to be dedicated to executive business, including this item.

If we do not debate this motion today, we will be neglecting our responsibility to recognise the important efforts that many people in the community put in to addressing and alleviating poverty in our community. Why is the Liberal Party so afraid of talking about poverty? Why are they not prepared to engage in a debate which has been put on the agenda by the Chief Minister as one worthy of discussion and which is supported by the cross bench as being an important proposal? Why do you not do your business at 6 o'clock, Mr Stefaniak, if that is your view. Let us get this most significant motion on the agenda, and let us get on with it, Mr Speaker.

It is unreasonable on the part of those opposite to seek to delay and prevent this debate simply because they want to achieve some petty political advantage in terms of manoeuvring here in the Assembly. It is extremely disappointing that they have taken this course of action. I mean, imagine what ACTCOSS would think of this manoeuvre by the ACT Liberal Party. Imagine what the Council on the Ageing would think of this. Imagine what those organisations who are working every day on the issue of poverty in our community would think about the priority the Liberal Party are prepared to give to the poverty debate.

Why are you not prepared to give the poverty debate priority? That is the question. Why are you not prepared to accept what this side of the chamber and Dr Foskey are wanting to do, which is to see this proposal go forward, Mr Speaker. What is the problem with talking about poverty? What is the problem with talking about the significant issues faced by people in our community?

Question put:

That Mr Stanhope's motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 8

Noes 5

Mr Barr

Mr Gentleman

Mrs Burke

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Mr Mulcahy

Mr Corbell

Ms Porter

Mr Pratt

Dr Foskey

Mr Stanhope

Mr Seselja

The Speaker having declared that the motion had not been carried as an absolute majority of Members had not voted in its favour, as required by standing order 272—

Question so resolved in the negative.

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