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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 2649..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

That is why it is quite appropriate to seek leave and quite churlish of the opposition to refuse it.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (3.43): The opposition does not propose to give leave on this occasion simply because the opposition was not advised.

Mr Corbell: You were not at the meeting.

MRS DUNNE: The opposition were not at the meeting last week. We sent in an apology. There were other things that we had on our agenda and we could not attend. There was no indication since then that this government wanted to make a ministerial statement. The usual courtesy, especially the courtesy in other places, is that the shadow minister in particular is advised. I know that none of the shadow ministers who have an interest in transport and the spatial plan were advised of this. They are often given opportunity to obtain a copy of the statement on an embargo basis beforehand so that they can comment on the ministerial statement. This is the practice in many other places.

Mr Corbell and I have had discussions about this on a number of occasions. This is not the practice in this place. The practice undertaken by the manager of government business was that, if there were to be a ministerial statement, we would at least be notified of it. There was no notification of it, not even in the final program that was circulated on Monday after the cabinet meeting. There has been no notification, and that is why we will not be giving leave.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (3.45): Briefly, my concern is that it is going to take quite an amount of time to read this ministerial statement. I am concerned about the erosion of time we need to discuss the budget. That is my concern.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Planning) (3.45), in reply: The opposition parties and the Greens should have drawn this to the government's attention when it was flagged at the last government business meeting. It is not my problem if Mrs Dunne, with all the resources the opposition have, is not able to send just one staff member to the government business meeting which is held for the courtesy of non-government parties. We hold a government business meeting to advise the non-government parties of the business of this place for the coming week.

If Mrs Dunne is too lazy to show up, that is her business. If all of the staff of the opposition and every other Liberal MLA are unable to attend the government business meeting to find out what is going to be on the agenda so that they know what is coming up, that is not the government's problem. Is Mrs Dunne seriously suggesting that, of the seven Liberal MLAs, not a single one of them could be bothered to come along to the government business meeting and were not available to attend or that every single member of their staff was unavailable to attend the government business meeting? If they had attended the government business meeting, I would have told them that it was on the agenda.

I always tell Mrs Dunne, particularly in regard to ministerial statements that I will be making because I know what is going on, directly that I am going to be making a ministerial statement. I have done it before. I would have extended the same courtesy to


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