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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (4 May) . . Page.. 1195..


MRS BURKE: He can scoff and laugh all he wants, but I want my statement to go on the public record. We have a Manager of Government Business who is simply not up to the job. He is simply not up to the job of doing procedural things correctly and in good time and good order. Not doing those sorts of things in that way brings this place into disrepute, although we can all make mistakes from time to time.

Mr Corbell asserts that he flagged this amendment at the government business meeting this week. In fact, I have checked on that with several other people who were present at that meeting and I confronted Mr Corbell on it this morning. I have to say that I got a mouthful. I apologise for anything I said to him that was offensive and I hope that he will do the same for me publicly. We do not need to go into the debate but it was annoying, to say the least. I was making the point to the Manager of Government Business that he did not make it clear yesterday that he would be moving any such amendment. I will go into that now.

From checking with other members present at that meeting, Mr Corbell did not make it clear, firstly, which select committee he was talking about. I point out to members that the notice paper today alludes to two select committees, one being the select committee on estimates and the other being the motion for the resumption of a debate concerning the select committee on working families.

Mr Corbell, one person present at that meeting wrote down that the government flagged possible amendments to this motion today, but did not confirm that. The person concerned did not write it down; they just said that there were possibly some amendments to be made concerning a select committee, not which select committee. I heard, and I believe I heard right—I do not know whether it was a slip of the tongue by Mr Corbell and he just said the wrong words; we all make mistakes, as I say—him say "working families"but he may have meant this select committee. That is what I picked up. A third member present at the committee meeting said that he did not recall Mr Corbell saying anything about any amendments.

It is of some concern to me also to note that the crossbench member was only advised of the amendment prior to its being very hurriedly dropped this morning. What sort of place are we running here? It is all well and good to be pious and to sit there so arrogantly and say, "I am the Manager of Government Business. You can all just go away. Go away."So much for being open, transparent and accountable!

Mr Corbell: Do you want an explanatory statement for that? I am happy to give you one.

MRS BURKE: It is a shame that government members are getting so upset. Obviously, we have touched a nerve. Mr Hargreaves said words to the effect that the Stanhope government would not steamroll things through this place. What a joke! This amendment flies in the face of that. No courtesy is extended. Obviously the government is having no more than a dummy spat about what happened last year. Good gracious!

Mr Corbell: The word is "spit".


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