Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 May 2007) . . Page.. 837 ..
closures at the Labor Party conference. In the past month we have again seen Mr Corbell break cabinet solidarity on recycling water and land sales.
Cabinet solidarity is one of the key principles of the Westminster system. In 2001, you said, “An ACT Labor government will defend the Westminster traditions and practices.” What disciplinary action have you taken against Mr Corbell for his repeated breaches of cabinet solidarity?
MR STANHOPE: Once again, I simply do not accept those assertions in relation to actions by my colleagues. I am not quite sure whether the question is relevant or whether it is actually in order. I am not quite sure under which head of ministerial responsibility I am responding to questions around false assertions.
Let me be blunt: I have absolutely no reasonable basis on which to reprimand or to seek to take action in relation to breaches of cabinet solidarity. They simply have not occurred. The question is based on a false assertion, a false claim. There is absolutely no basis to the question. There is no basis on which I would be required to take any such action.
This is unlike the enormous disputes and backstabbing and backbiting that we see from the opposition bench. Have a look at the arrangement over there now. People are moving sideways and backwards. Mr Mulcahy has taken one step to the right. Mrs Burke has taken two steps to the left. Mr Stefaniak has taken two steps to the left. Mr Smyth has moved to the back.
This mob has no basis on which to stand up in this place and talk about proper behaviour by members of the government. Have a look at yourselves. Have a look at the rabble that you are. That is how the people of the ACT regard you. Calmly look back two years to where each of you was sitting two years ago. None of you is sitting in the seat that you were sitting in two years ago and that is because of the enormous disloyalty, backstabbing, backbiting and gouging—
Mr Mulcahy: I am back where I was.
MR STANHOPE: That is right. Mr Mulcahy says he is back where he was. He has taken a little shuffle to the left and a little shuffle to the right. That is the reality of relationships within this place. Have a look at yourselves.
MR PRATT: Given that we are qualified to ask these questions, my supplementary question is: Chief Minister, why have you acted in such a weak manner in not sacking Mr Corbell, given that he has repeatedly breached cabinet solidarity? You have acted in a weak manner, Chief Minister!
MR STANHOPE: I have answered the question.
Emergency services—Cooleman Ridge plan
DR FOSKEY: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services and is regarding clearing on Cooleman Ridge in Weston Creek. Residents near Cooleman Ridge were recently told of a plan developed by the ESA to “prepare” Cooleman