Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 07 Hansard (Monday, 15 August 2022) . . Page.. 2478 ..
I am very interested to see if the Liberal Party will in fact vote against the budget and vote against all of this important investment for the community. Yet, when challenged, it seems they will vote to give significant subsidies to the racing industry, making very clear where the Liberal Party’s real priorities lie.
To conclude, the Greens will not support this motion. We support the Chief Minister. We support the budget, except for one specific allocation of funding. We continue to have a flexible and functioning multiparty government that is achieving good and important outcomes. We will not support this motion from the Liberal Party. It is not even grounded in reality about how the government works. We prefer to get back to the business of working on policies that will benefit Canberrans.
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (9.19): I rise to support this motion. I commend Ms Lee for bringing it forward. As much as the Greens and the Labor Party seek to dismiss it, the fact that the government, the Labor Party, is going to have to come, cap in hand, to the Liberal Party to pass elements of its own budget is unprecedented and untenable. Ms Lee has made that case.
Mr Rattenbury is trying to dismiss that and say, “No, this is just the way that we do business.” If you go to the ACT Cabinet Handbook, that is not the way this is meant to be bolted together. It makes it very clear that there is a process to exempt Green ministers from cabinet solidarity:
c) vote against the proposal in the Assembly (other than for the ordinary annual appropriation Bills of government).
Now if this were some nonsense motion from Mr Pettersson that we, sort of, debate in here as a course of business, and the Greens vote for it or against it, that is one thing; this is not that. This is the appropriation! This is the government coming forward with something that should be about running this territory. It should be in unity and must be. For the Greens to be split on this is untenable.
The Labor Party used to believe this, Madam Speaker. The Labor Party, before it became infected with the Greens and did everything it could just to stay in power, used to believe this. If you do not believe me, listen to Mr Stanhope when he was the leader of the party—back when the Labor Party, Madam Speaker, used to stand for something. When he led the Labor Party to victory, Mr Stanhope said—Madam Speaker, those opposite all laugh! They all think it is funny. It is extraordinary that the Labor Party think that their previous longest-serving Chief Minister is a joke! That is what they think. That is how far the Labor Party have distanced themselves from their roots, from when they used to stand for something, when they used to stand for principles, back when they were in opposition, back in 2001, in the time before the Labor Party would do anything just to maintain power, doing deals with the Greens. Even when they have deals and they break those deals, they vote to support what is going on here today.
This is what Mr Stanhope said, back in 2001, about ministers who are thinking about voting against their own government: