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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 March 2010) . . Page.. 955 ..


conducting this review. It’s a secret. We can’t tell you.” I have never heard of a review that the government institutes when it says, “We can’t tell you who’s doing it.” I find that extraordinary.

When it was put to the minister on the news, she tried to blame the public servants. She said, “Well, I was briefed that it was better not to name them.” He was named and I have not heard a reasonable explanation from the minister as to why you would not name him. We see reviews conducted all the time. Sometimes evidence is taken in camera. Sometimes witnesses are protected and sometimes they can even appear anonymously. There are all sorts of ways of doing things. But I have never heard of a case where the reviewer needs to be kept secret, where the reviewer cannot be revealed. What is it that is so secret? I use this by way of example about leadership. It is about leadership. The minister in that case blamed the public servants. She did not think to say, “Well, I made this decision.” Why did you make that decision? Did you think about it or did you simply blindly follow advice—advice which, if it was given, was clearly flawed?

That is what the second part of this motion is about. It is about holding a minister to account and it is about calling on action from the minister. That is what we do in this place. That is why we have this system. It is not so that we can ignore the minister, for good or ill. Ministers are very good and this minister, like others, is very good at taking the credit when there is a good news story. There is no doubt about it. It is the minister up front when there is an announcement about funding or if there is a good news story.

The Greens again say: “Well, we shouldn’t hold the minister accountable. We don’t want to focus on the minister.” We do. We have to focus on the minister because it is by pressuring the minister, holding the minister to account and forcing the minister to show leadership that to date has been lacking that we will hopefully get the better outcomes that the community wants. The community, in the end, simply wants the outcomes. Vesna Nedic wants a situation where she does not have to travel interstate for radiotherapy. That is her bottom line. The best way we get that is by holding a government to account when they fail. This minister consistently blames others. This minister consistently shows that she is struggling with her portfolio, that she is struggling to deal with the serious issues that need to be addressed. That is what this motion calls for. That is why it should be supported. I commend Mr Hanson for bringing it forward and for the significant work that he has done to explain the case for it. (Time expired.)

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.00): It is interesting when a minister rises to address a motion such as this but simply refuses to address the substantive. To simply say, “Oh, it is just another Jeremy Hanson motion,” is to say, “I cannot answer it.” That is the problem with the approach that the minister has taken today. She twists; she turns. She said, “All you ever do is attack the staff.” But that again is a minister who cannot answer for her actions, who does not have an answer to that which is laid out in this motion.

The minister says that we know. She quoted some statistics. It is always good to quote statistics in a ministerial speech. Fill up the space; fill up the void that is the absence


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