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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 2506..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

against them on the floor of his convention. He should not tell us to have guts and commitment when he does not have it in this place. He should have commitment and support his cabinet. He should not say on one occasion he is only doing this because his faction made him do it and at another venue say he did not believe it in the first place. Those sorts of actions drag all of us down and drag this place down. People do not understand when they hear him say one thing in one venue and then he votes 180 degrees differently in another venue. That annoys the public.

Mr Corbell said he is a private citizen and can go to functions and do whatever he wants. That is not what the code of conduct says. The code of conduct says every day you are a Minister you are accountable for every decision you make. There are no part-time ministers. I would love to see that duty statement. Maybe it is true. Maybe we do have a nine to five Labor cabinet and for the rest of the time they can do whatever they want. That is how it appears to people outside. So, let us see the guts and commitment today from the people who voted for these words a couple of Saturday's ago. Let us see them vote for it again and say to the community that we do have politicians in this place who mean what they say in one venue and are willing to back it up in another venue. Mr Corbell said he was there as a private citizen, but he was at the front bench with MLAs and MPs and senators, all with their name plates. It was reserved for them. They were up the front, the leading lights of the Labor Party. Mr Corbell was not there as a private member; he was there as the minister. He was there because of his position. He should vote as he voted on the day or he should walk away from cabinet.

I have the tapes of the Saturday and Sunday night news—and there is Mr Gentleman. It is just fantastic. When the vote is called all the other hands go straight up, but not Mick. Mick looks over his shoulder—it is half up, half down, and slowly the arm comes back up. Who is he voting for? Is he voting for his faction? Is he voting for his government or is he voting for his community? The person who has been missing in action most has been Mr Gentleman. I do not think we have seen Mr Gentleman at too many of these school meetings.

We should give Ms MacDonald credit where credit is due. At least she has come to the meetings, stood in front of people and told them where she is at, but today is crunch time for Ms MacDonald. She has been to Chisholm and to Kambah and to Gilmore for breakfast and said she is unhappy with the consultation. Prove it. Today is crunch time for Karin MacDonald because I will be taking the transcripts and the votes and saying to people they cannot believe what they are told until they vote for it. Here are the votes.

People genuinely believe there has not been consultation or adequate time frames, but there is also the fact that it ends the week before Christmas—after schools have finished, after teacher allocations have been made, when childcare centres are shutting down and when the before and after school care is not in operation. Christmas will be ruined by Jon Stanhope and Andrew Barr when they announce these things just days before Christmas—when people cannot make alternative arrangements, when they have to start hunting for different schools, and talk to family day carers and before and after school care, when most of them are on holidays. The whole Christmas break and January will be agony as they explain to their children their schools are closed because five members who voted for these words a couple of weekends ago may or may not vote for them today. People will hold those members accountable and people will remember.

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