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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2010) . . Page.. 32 ..


into the media and to have expressed a view on but they will not allow the government today to introduce this bill. I do not intend to bring this to a division; I do not think that there is a particular point in that given the position, as I understand it, of other parties. But I simply put on the record that the hypocrisy of those opposite in relation to this matter is there for all to see.

All they will be achieving this morning by denying me leave is delaying this matter by two days. That seems to be a very petty and small-minded way to start the year in the Assembly for 2010. But it is what we have come to expect from those opposite—opposition for opposition’s sake, and they have started 2010 exactly as they finished 2009. It was interesting that a number of commentators over the summer indicated that the ascension of Mr Abbott to the leadership of the Liberal Party was all about opposition for opposition’s sake, and it seems that they have borrowed the mantra at a federal level of the ACT Liberals.

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker, Mr Barr is supposed to be debating why standing orders should be suspended. The disposition of the opposition in relation to this bill is irrelevant. The disposition of Mr Abbott in relation to this bill is irrelevant. He is supposed to be debating why standing orders need to be suspended.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Barr, if you would just stay on the subject, please.

MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. In the time that remains I reiterate that this is an important bill. It is a bill that the Assembly considered last year and rejected. This is the first opportunity to reintroduce it, as per the standing orders. I am taking this opportunity—or seeking to—and it is petty and small minded of the Liberal opposition. It is classic opposition politics—opposition for opposition’s sake. They have commenced 2010 as they finished 2009. They are an irrelevant rabble, and you see this again this morning.

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (11.50): Madam Deputy Speaker, there is absolutely no case to suspend standing orders here today. Standing order 168 clearly states that notice of intention to present a bill shall be given by a member. “Notice” is the operative word here. The government is afforded plenty of time during a sitting week to present bills, so I wonder why Mr Barr is wanting to present this bill without the usual protocol being observed. Why, Mr Barr? Why?

Why this rush, Madam Deputy Speaker? Mr Barr should wait his turn and present his bill on Thursday and provide us with the appropriate notice, just as he does normally every other sitting week. Other than wanting to play a game of one-upmanship, political games, the minister does not have a logical reason to suspend standing orders in order to present his bill without notice today. All we hear is the usual spin for spin for spin.

In fact, if Mr Barr was in such a hurry to bring this bill forward, why did he not allow debate to occur late last year when the opportunity was presented to him? And why was he not able to discuss his intention and his proposed bill with the opposition and the Greens during the three months since we last discussed this issue? These are questions that Mr Barr cannot answer, because he only has one motive for this course


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