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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 March 2010) . . Page.. 1264 ..

I would say that we need to be clear that the dissent is about the fact that you can ask questions of ministers, obviously, to do with their portfolio interests or matters to do with their portfolio or to do with the expenditure of money—it was simply the way that you framed that question. One of Mrs Dunne’s points was that this agreement is at the heart of the ACT government; it is the thing that seems to run the ACT government; it is at the heart of the ACT budget. The ACT Greens would be very pleased to hear that this agreement is at the heart of the ACT budget and at the heart of the ACT government. We would like nothing more. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We work together here for good outcomes for the people of the ACT. I certainly hope that we can move on from this matter and finally get to question time today.

Motion (by Mr Corbell) proposed:

That the question be now put.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 7

Noes 10

Mr Barr

Ms Porter

Ms Bresnan

Ms Hunter

Ms Burch

Mr Stanhope

Mr Coe

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Corbell

Mr Doszpot

Mr Rattenbury

Ms Gallagher

Mrs Dunne

Mr Seselja

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Hanson

Mr Smyth

Question so resolved in the negative.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (3.12): I am not sure whether the Greens were on the same page on that vote but I am sure I heard Ms Le Couteur voting yes to gagging the debate.

I will need to respond to some of what Ms Hunter had to say. But it is interesting, Mr Speaker, that the moment you brought Ms Hunter back to the substance, she shut down and sat down. I did not hear her mention the standing orders once. In fact, I did not hear any of the Greens’ contributions, in defending your ruling and arguing against the dissent motion, actually deal with the issue.

We heard from Ms Hunter that she wished we did not have to have these long debates in the Assembly, if only we could get home earlier and if only things were a bit easier. But we did not hear anything about the substance of the debate. We did not hear the Greens, in their contributions, talk about standing order 114. We did not hear about them looking at standing order 114 and how it is relevant. It states:

Questions may be put to a Minister relating to public affairs with which that Minister is officially connected …

Mr Stanhope made the argument for us. He said that the Greens-Labor agreement is signed and then is adopted as government policy. If it is adopted as government policy, no matter why it was signed, no matter whom it was signed by, it underpins this government; it becomes central to their policy development; therefore, we should

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