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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1595..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

the motion to bring them to this place. We have not had the reason for the back flip, although we now see it, apparently, for what it is. What we have, Mr Corbell, is not a thank you. It is an apology from your mean spirited government and your inept chair of the planning committee as to why it took three, four or five months—whatever it is since the committee got the draft report—for them to make it public to enable it to be consulted on properly.

What we have not got from Mr Gentleman is an apology to the committee secretariat. They must have been explaining this to the people who rang up seeking a copy, "We want you to comment on it but, no, we cannot give you a copy of the report."What we have not got is an apology. What we have not got is an apology from the Minister for the Environment, who is absent from this place, as to why he has allowed this fuss to go on. What we have not got is an apology from the Chief Minister. In his Code of Good Governance back in 2001 the Chief Minister stated:

ACT Labor believes that responsible governments are open and accountable governments.

Obviously he is not responsible, he is not open and he is not accountable. We need an apology for the complete abrogation of that undertaking as well. So, yes, Mr Corbell, I do thank Mr Gentleman for exposing your government again. We thank him sincerely. Perhaps Mr Corbell might now like to apologise and explain why it has come to the point where a motion in the Assembly has forced the government to do this back flip. We will, of course, be supporting the motion.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (12.06), (in reply): I will close the debate, Mr Deputy Speaker. It is interesting that Mr Gentleman comes in here today and, under pressure, tables the document. It is worth noting that, until we pass this motion, that document is not published. Tabling it gives it some privilege, but it does not allow it to be circulated, and that is why we still need to pass this motion today.

The mean spiritedness of the Stanhope government was absolutely and utterly brought out for everyone to see in the presentation that Mr Gentleman made. I presume that he still has Chinese burn marks on his arm, because somebody has severely twisted his arm to put him in the situation he is in today. After a completely and utterly ungracious exposition, which I will come back to later, he has finally been put in a situation where he has to do the job he should have done back in February when this first came to the committee.

I will go back to the lack of grace of Mr Gentleman. This is an unprecedented motion. Mr Corbell is here saying we should thank Mr Gentleman. We should not thank Mr Gentleman for forcing me to gainsay my colleagues on the planning and environment committee and then come in here and go over their heads to get the committee to do something that should be done as a matter of course in the service of this community. We should not have to thank Mr Gentleman for that. We should not have to thank him for wasting our time on that.

Yes, Mr Deputy Speaker, I did not go on the trip to Namadgi and I did call it off at the last minute after considerable soul searching. I did call it off because I was asked by


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