Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 March 2010) . . Page.. 825 ..
examine whether there appeared to be a systematic avoidance of answering and a failure to provide information. Having reviewed the transcript of question time and the letter sent by the minister in regard to the memorandum of understanding, I have come to the conclusion that, while I acknowledge that the minister could have used somewhat clearer language on occasions, the Greens cannot support Mr Seselja’s motion that the minister persistently and wilfully misled the Assembly in regard to this matter. There appears to be no systematic avoidance of providing information, which is what this motion implies. Had the accusation been about providing a lack of detail in that question time debate or use of words that had a somewhat ambivalent meaning then perhaps there would be a case to answer.
I would briefly like to take the opportunity to raise an issue of government accountability, because I am sure Mr Seselja’s colleagues are going to get up and have a bang-on about that and the Greens’ lack of adherence to it. I note that Mr Seselja is running a line, in the media at least, where he puts the view that the Greens have no interest in holding the government to account.
I find that view rather interesting. I would put to Mr Seselja that holding the government to account comes in many forms, and that before he is so quick to criticise he might want to look at his own party’s contribution on the current policy issues on the table. For example, I wonder where the Liberal Party’s contribution to the energy debate in this town is. Did they make any kind of submission to critique the government’s rather unambitious policy?
Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Madam Assistant Speaker, this is a serious matter about a censure of the minister for misleading the Assembly—
MR RATTENBURY: Stop the clock, please, Clerk.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Yes, stop the clock, please.
Mrs Dunne: It does not relate to our approach to energy policy. If Mr Rattenbury wants to have a debate about the Liberal Party’s approach to the energy policy, he is free to bring something in here on a Wednesday, but this is a censure motion, and he needs to be relevant to the censure motion.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you, Mrs Dunne. There is no point of order. Mr Rattenbury.
MR RATTENBURY: I wonder where the Liberal Party’s contribution is. Why did they not make a submission on such an ambitious policy, or would that kind of holding to account require too much work? Have the Liberal Party put forward any critique of the government’s vision of the Molonglo Valley development? Have they put forward a view on the funding of mental health services in the ACT? It would seem to me that there are some major debates in the town where the Liberal Party are nowhere to be seen.
Opposition members interjecting—