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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 March 2010) . . Page.. 1320 ..

But it is also the only remaining party in this Assembly that is holding the government to account. As we saw today, and as we saw last week, the crossbench is now failing in its responsibility to assist the opposition to hold the government to account.

We are actually proud to call ourselves the opposition. We are the Liberal Party, and we are very proud of that, but we are also very proud to be the opposition. We remain the only party in this place that is prepared to say: “Yes, we are prepared to oppose. We are prepared to criticise. We are prepared to hold this government to account and we are prepared to scrutinise the government.”

Legislative Assembly—role of members

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (6.00): I feel that it has not been a great day for the Assembly. I just wanted to get that on the record. What we have seen today, and I understand it happened a lot last week as well, is an incredible waste of time—

Members interjecting—

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Members, can we have a bit of shush. Ms Hunter’s voice is not all that strong at the moment.

MS HUNTER: Thank you. I was just making the point that I find it quite saddening that a lot of time is wasted in the Assembly when we have important matters to get to. I acknowledge the hard work of the Chamber Support staff, the Secretariat and Hansard. Hansard has, no doubt, had an incredibly tough day today. I cannot recall exactly how many, but a few hours were spent on a debate around dissenting from the Speaker’s ruling. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of Hansard. I certainly hope that the tone and the standard in the Assembly will be lifted. We all have a role to play in that and I certainly hope we are going to take a bit of a cooperative approach to it. Earlier today I said that I had webstreamed some of the Assembly debates of last week.

Mr Hanson: Webstreaming is bad for your health, is it? Don’t webstream if you’re sick!

MS HUNTER: Mr Hanson has decided to twist that to say that I was basically hanging out at home watching Oprah.

Mr Hanson: Well, that’s what you did during estimates, wasn’t it?

MS HUNTER: Again, to me, that is just a classic example of how low the tone has gone. I really am looking forward to a better quality of debate. I am really looking forward to some policy, some vision, from the opposition so that we can also engage with you. I know the Greens would be very happy to discuss and assist you with some ideas. It is incumbent upon all of us to lift the tone. We are here representing the people of the ACT. We are here to improve things for the people of the ACT. That is our role. I hope that we are going to take that role seriously and pursue it in the sitting weeks that we have left this year.

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