Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 March 2010) . . Page.. 1319 ..
Ms K Gallagher—leave
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Health and Minister for Industrial Relations) (5.55): I rise tonight, after several interjections over a period of sitting weeks by the Leader of the Opposition, to confess to the Assembly that I am taking one month’s leave to go overseas. I am leaving on 20 May and I am not coming back till 20 June. It is a four-week holiday with my family. It is fully funded, privately, by my partner and me—just before the opposition get too excited about that. It was a decision taken five years ago by my sister and I after our mother passed away that we would attempt to take both of our families overseas.
At that point in time it was to be for eight weeks, but five years ago I was not the Treasurer. When we looked at the booking that was made, I had to shorten my trip to four weeks so that I am here to deliver the budget and I am here to appear at estimates for the complete amount of time that I would normally be here to appear at estimates. In fact, I finish my appearance at estimates on 19 May and I leave Australia with my two youngest children on 20 May. I would not normally give all this detail to the Assembly, but I am not going to sit here and have these interjections by the Leader of the Opposition insinuating that I am not doing my job and am just wandering off overseas.
I wrote to the Leader of the Opposition and the Parliamentary Convenor of the ACT Greens back in January to advise them of this because I wanted to book my flights. Because those flights cost around $12,000, I wanted to make sure that that worked in with the Assembly’s decisions around estimates. I have tried to give as much notice as I can. I just need to put this issue on the table and to confess that I am taking a four-week break. In my nine years in this place, I have never taken a four-week holiday. I am taking it. It is in the memory of my mother and I would really appreciate it if the opposition respected that.
Freedom of information
MR HANSON (Molonglo) (5.58): Madam Deputy Speaker, I will be brief. I was doing a Meredith Hunter and watching the Assembly from the television in my office. I could not help but come down here to respond to Mr Rattenbury’s claims: “We’re going to take credit for it because I was going to do it.” FOI is something that the Greens take credit for because he says: “I was going to do it. I was going to brief my staff. I was going to bring some legislation in. Therefore, because I was going to do it, I will take the credit for it.” I look forward to the next Greens documentation that tells us what else they were going to do that they are going to take credit for. It is quite a good strategy actually. I can just imagine everything that you can take credit for because you simply claim, “I was going to do it.” That is quite a remarkable thing to say.
For the Greens to say that they are the only party that is engaged in policy debate and working constructively is also ridiculous. The Liberal Party has engaged in more policy work and has engaged more constructively in what it is doing than the Greens.