Page 2221 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 August 2022
are doing in this place, to be frank. So 8.30 is entirely reasonable because we do have other business in estimates; equally, we want to allow this debate to happen without members being constrained.
MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (10.13): I will shortly circulate an amendment to Ms Lawder’s amendment, to amend the sitting time to 9 am. We have worked really hard in this Assembly to make it as inclusive and family friendly as we can. That started with Katy Gallagher, and I do not think we need to change that and quibble over the time. We want to have the debate. We want to defend our Chief Minister. With regard to people being concerned about estimates, the estimates committee can recall witnesses at any time.
My suggestion is that we continue the hard work we have done, and change it to 9 o’clock. It does not remove the time or the ability for the opposition to hold the Chief Minister and the government to account. It gives the Labor Party and the Greens party the chance to defend the Chief Minister as well. There is no issue with that. We all agree; we absolutely support the idea that there should be an opportunity for everybody in this place. However, my suggestion is that a 9 o’clock start gives people the chance, if they have children, to get them to school as usual, to continue with the practice of being family friendly and inclusive in this place as much as possible. If the estimates committee require an extended time with any witness, they can recall that witness and ask questions at any time.
There is no issue with estimates, there is no issue with the timing that might be spent on the Canberra Liberals’ motion, and there is no issue with the time that the government will take in defending the Chief Minister. It is a very simple request. It is not game playing; it is continuing what we have done in this place to be inclusive and family friendly. My amendment to Ms Lawder’s amendment has been circulated. I move:
Omit “8.30 am”, substitute “9 am”.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.16): I am hoping that this closes the debate, Madam Speaker. The government will be supporting the amendment moved by Ms Berry. I think we have had enough debate about the timing. The government has been very generous in ensuring that we can have the debate on that particular day, so let us go ahead and vote on the amendment.
Opposition members interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Members, you have all said that this is a very important matter, so why do you keep interjecting and being difficult?