Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 07 Hansard (Monday, 15 August 2022) . . Page.. 2475 ..
The Greens, with just 13.5 per cent of the vote in the ACT, are holding the government to ransom. For more than a decade in government, and with the balance of power, the Greens have not used this weapon to hold their government colleagues to account. This is the first time. So it begs the question from the public: why haven’t the Greens used this power to make demands about the declining number of public housing properties, the alarming rates of poverty, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage, or a failing health system that sees patients being treated in the corridors? Why haven’t the Greens used this power to make demands about the violence and toxic materials in our schools, the eye-watering cost-of-living pressures facing some of most vulnerable, the housing affordability crisis for purchasers and renters, and the homelessness that is plaguing our city?
Is the Canberra public really to believe that, despite all these matters of vital importance to our community, it is this item that they are using this weapon? Is it this item that they are exercising this nuclear option for? Are we really to believe this? Are we really to accept this?
For government ministers to state publicly that they will not support the government’s budget is untenable. The opposition has lost confidence in the Chief Minister’s ability to guarantee supply and deliver his budget—and so too have the Greens, if they can be taken on their word. But, as we know, the Greens have demonstrated time and again that they are willing to bend, twist, and compromise on their principles—or simply throw these principles straight out the window!—so as to maintain their compromised grip on power. The Greens have demonstrated time and time again that their alliance with the Labor Party is above the people and the communities that they seek to represent.
But this is an extraordinary step; to publicly announce that they will vote against certain items of expenditure in a budget that they themselves helped prepare. This goes against the 10th Parliamentary and Governing Agreement; this goes against the workings of the government’s Expenditure Review Committee, of which Mr Rattenbury is a member; and this goes against the Greens’ position in cabinet. When any coalition government is formed, there is always a guarantee of supply, because guarantee of supply is fundamental to stable government. But what we are seeing with this announcement by the Greens is anything but; it is the complete opposite of that.
The opposition has lost confidence in the Chief Minister’s ability to guarantee supply and deliver his budget, and now it is obvious that the Greens have also. If the Greens are true to their word, they must support my motion of no confidence against the Chief Minister.
I commend my motion to the Assembly.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (9.12): The government will be opposing the motion before the Assembly this morning. There is no basis for it. It is petty and pointless. It has no chance of succeeding. Let us be clear: the Greens party have not threatened to block supply, nor have they lost confidence in