Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 4051..
MR PRATT (continuing):
The only way that we can get to that matter is to empower and direct the planning and environment committee, our standing committee on these matters, to launch immediately into an inquiry on the way that the government has, I posit, mishandled this whole sorry affair and consequently put the residents of Tharwa at massive disadvantage.
I commend the motion to suspend standing orders to enable us to debate the motion to refer the matter to the planning and environment committee. I call upon the government to stand up here and express logically why we should not be doing that in this place.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (12.22): The government has an extensive program of business listed on the notice paper in the daily program today. It involves four bills, all of which are required to be passed at the conclusion of this sitting year. Today being the last day, it is essential that we move on to debate those bills. I would draw members' attention to the fact that we also have an MPI listed for this afternoon which will go for the requisite hour. In addition to that, there are a range of other items still to be debated on the notice paper.
The government has supported the normal allocation of 45 minutes for Assembly business. We have indicated previously to the opposition that we are not inclined to support an extension to Assembly business today because of the program of work of executive business that needs to be dealt with today, it being the last sitting day of the year.
We have sought the opposition's cooperation in this matter. Regrettably and unfortunately, it is now a regular occurrence. We do not have that cooperation from the opposition despite their initial indication that they would be prepared to confine debate to 45 minutes. Regrettably, that is the way they are choosing to conduct themselves in this place. But the government wishes to insist that its business does need to be dealt with today and, for that reason, we do not support extension of time and we do not support a suspension of standing orders. We are quite happy to have this debate at a later time, but given the priority of other business on the notice paper and the daily program today we wish to proceed to executive business. That is why we do not support the suspension of standing orders.
MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra—Leader of the Opposition) (12.24): Just briefly, I understand that Mr Smyth did advise Mr Corbell that we really wanted to deal with this, and there were discussions about that. I note the government's attitude in relation to this. I merely point out that on a couple of occasions recently we did not have any government business and we finished early. I think that happened on a couple of occasions in the last sittings. I think it is important for the government actually to get its act together and ensure that there legislation for us to debate.
MR PRATT (Brindabella) (12.24), in reply: Mr Speaker, in recent weeks this government have shown by their lack of industriousness that they waste time in this place. Here they are—