Page 1800 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 June 2022
DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (11.04): Obviously, I do not support this motion. Minister Steel is one of the most respected MLAs in the Assembly and across the ACT community. He has a busy and prominent portfolio that spans many areas, including some of the matters that are most relevant and of most interest to our community, within his portfolio of Transport and City Services and, more broadly, as Special Minister of State and Minister for Skills. Together, we share responsibility as members for Murrumbidgee. I know that Minister Steel takes very seriously all areas for which he is responsible, the integrity of his role, and acts at all times in the best interests of his constituents and the ACT community.
Minister Steel’s due diligence is demonstrated through the very matter which Ms Lee raises—that he has sought information about the nature of the CIT contract and has questioned, and continues to question, the value of those contracts. Minister Steel himself has questioned the nature of the contracts and sought to better understand and assess the expenditure of CIT’s governing board and executive, which operate externally to the ACT government. Minister Steel has already resolved to get to the bottom of this matter and is actively doing so.
The number of no-confidence motions being brought forward to this Assembly in recent months from our Liberal colleagues concerns me—not because of the nature of the no-confidence motions but because they are being used as political fodder. They are wasting time, resources and energy. They are media-seeking exercises. I hope that the one article that the Canberra Times will write on the no-confidence motion is worth the Canberra Liberals’ and everyone else’s time this morning, when we have so many more important issues to be debating and pursuing.
Ms Lee said the word “shocking” multiple times in her speech. What is shocking this morning is the waste of everyone’s time. As I said in my speech on an unrelated matter yesterday, it is important that the government is held to account, that questions are asked and that integrity, scrutiny and transparency are applied to maintain the confidence of our community. However, motions such as this vote of no confidence do nothing to further the objectives of the important work of this Assembly.
The Canberra Liberals know that Minister Steel is good at his job, that he applies due diligence, and that he is an honourable and trustworthy member of this Assembly. It saddens me to see that the Canberra Liberals would seek to damage his reputation in a mere attempt to further their own political gain. Maybe it is because the Canberra Liberals, as the Chief Minister said, are so insecure that they feel the need to play politics with such a low act.
Luckily, our community is smarter than that. Luckily, Minister Steel has strength of character and standing in our community, and this motion says nothing about him or about the work he undertakes. This has nothing to do with integrity and it is purely about politics. I look forward to continuing to work positively and constructively alongside Minister Steel for the people of Murrumbidgee and the ACT.
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (11.07): I stand in support of Ms Lee in the moving of no confidence against the skills minister. In response to Dr Paterson, I would say that the number of no-confidence motions that have come from this side of the chamber is our way of saying, to quote the Chief Minister, “Do better.”