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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 March 2010) . . Page.. 1276 ..


Undertaking to ensure an accountable and transparent government, public service and parliament that are responsive to the community …

But we cannot ask about that. Why can’t we ask the minister how they are ensuring that we are having an accountable and transparent government, public service and parliament that are responsive to the community? I do not know what is wrong with asking a question about that section of the agreement. I am not sure what the Greens are embarrassed over. I am not sure what the government is embarrassed over. I am not sure why you, Mr Speaker, would seek to ban it.

The question is: what have you got to hide? The Greens have got pledges, commitment to fiscal responsibility. Section 3 is headed “Commitment to fiscal responsibility”. It states:

The parties confirm their commitment to fiscal responsibility and the maintenance of a balanced budget through the economic cycle.

What does that mean? What does the economic cycle mean?

Mr Barr: God, you’re on that one again, aren’t you?

MR SMYTH: Mr Barr may take up the case, but the problem here is that means absolutely nothing when there is a pre-commitment to delivering all the budgets. It does not matter if you wanted to have fiscal responsibility through the economic cycle; the Greens, for instance, have already agreed to deliver the budgets. So that is the problem.

Mr Speaker, I would ask you to reconsider your decision. What we have before us is a parliamentary agreement, a formal agreement that affects the way business is done in this place. It was presented to the parliament. It has cost implications. The Treasurer is responsible for funding this agreement, and it was signed by her as Deputy Chief Minister. It underpins the government. They got the government benches because they signed this agreement. They tabled it in this place. A result of this agreement is, “We’ll vote for you, you will give us some outcomes.” Those outcomes cost the taxpayers. Both parties have it on their websites. The communiques identify that this is an agreement between the ACT government and the ACT Greens. It says, “The ACT government and the ACT Greens.” We have asked these questions before.

Page 539 talks about arrangements. It does not talk about agreements. I think it is quite clear that when it talks about arrangements it is about arrangements on how things are conducted here, not the agreement between two parties. Standing order 114 says somebody has to be officially connected. She is connected to the funding. Somebody has to have a matter of administration. For instance, the Treasurer does, and all ministers will have. This dissent should be supported by the Assembly—(Time expired.)

Question put:

That Mr Smyth’s motion be agreed to.


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