Page 2488 - Week 07 - Monday, 15 August 2022
MADAM SPEAKER: Members, again! Members, before I give Dr Paterson the call, can I remind people that this is probably the most serious matter that can be brought to the Assembly, and some of the behaviour of some members is not giving it that due regard.
DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (9.49): Firstly, the Chief Minister has my full support and my full unwavering confidence in his abilities as Chief Minister and Treasurer. This motion is actually a sign of the desperation of the Canberra Liberals. It is a sign that the Canberra Liberals have no idea, no substance and no plan. The Chief Minister challenged the Leader of the Opposition to put forward an economic plan—to have some vision and to encourage a contest of ideas. But what is really clear through this motion is that there is no contest of ideas coming.
A one-trick pony: that is what the Canberra Liberals are, so desperate for a headline. There are nine cabinet ministers, so you could do a no-confidence motion every second sitting and that would just about get you to the end of the term! Do you know what will happen then? The ACT public will once again vote for no-confidence in the Canberra Liberals.
The cost to the ACT taxpayer for all of us—25 MLAs and support staff in the Assembly—would be tens of thousands of dollars, all for the Canberra Liberals to get one headline. This is a disgraceful waste of everyone’s time. I am more than happy to sing the praises of my ACT Labor colleagues and welcome the opportunity, but not at the expense of the entire morning’s business.
Mr Barr has delivered an outstanding budget, and I can proudly say that I have full confidence in the Chief Minister.
MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (9.50): A junior coalition party, such as the Greens, has one key responsibility, and that is to ensure the passage of supply in parliament: one key responsibility. Here, we have seen the Greens fail at that key responsibility. We have had speakers opposite accuse us of using this no-confidence motion to score a political point. It is not to score a political point. It is to underscore that key responsibility of ensuring supply.
Instead of ensuring supply, what we see here is chaos and dysfunction in the government—two sides of that coalition unable to agree with each other. In addition to that, we see their disdain for the principles of the Westminster parliamentary system; not for the first or only time for this government have we seen that disdain for the Westminster system. What we get instead is an attempt to dissemble, deflect and divert attention.
The Greens have flagged that they will vote against at least one element of this year’s budget. Will they then stand on their principles and vote against the budget as a whole, or is this to make a cheap political point by voting against one aspect of the budget? Is that what they are doing here? Are they trying to appeal to one part of their audience without actually following through on their threat? That is unclear, and we will not know that until we come back and debate the budget.