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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 March 2010) . . Page.. 1427 ..

decision of the Grants Commission, that is, $85 million of our share of the GST pie, which is 2.5 per cent of our budget. These are factors that any reasonable person would need to take into account if you are going to move forward. For the reasons I have outlined, we will not be supporting this motion today. (Time expired.)

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (5.04): What a great pleasure it is to have Ms Hunter in the Assembly today, rather than her observing things on television, which is her normal contribution to economic debates in this place, particularly throughout estimates. But what a bizarre thing it was that we just saw where she refused to stand up and speak, as leader of her party, or as the parliamentary convenor of her party, and basically played musical chairs with the rest of the members of this place, seeing who would stand up first. I had to stand up, sit down, stand up and sit down before she actually dared to stand up and put her party’s position or her own position forward in this debate.

I have never seen that before. I have not been in this place very long—others might be able to contribute further to that—but has anyone else seen a leader of their party or a supposed parliamentary convenor—

Ms Hunter: I believe a point of order was taken on me very early in my speech around relevance, so I would like to raise the same point of order of relevance. We are talking about Mr Smyth’s motion. If Mr Hanson could address himself to Mr Smyth’s motion, I believe that was your advice last time, Madam Assistant Speaker.

MR HANSON: On the point of order, Madam Assistant Speaker, Ms Hunter indeed had that point of order taken against her. But she spent much of her speech actually criticising Mr Smyth, his style of debate, what the Liberals bring forward and what they are saying in the Assembly, not responding to the motion. She spent much of her speech criticising not the motion but the Liberal Party and their approach to debate in the Assembly. So I think it is a bit rich for her to say that my speech is not relevant, because I think I am drawing directly from what she basically spent about two-thirds of her speech doing, which was criticising Mr Smyth and the Liberals’ approach to debate in this Assembly.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne): One of the things I really would like to avoid is tit-for-tat points of order. But what we have here is a debate, and there will not be tit-for-tat points of order. The thing one needs to remember is that when members speak they often reflect on the speakers that have come before them. However, in doing so, they should also be mindful of the fact that there is a motion and that they need to be relevant to that motion. Mr Hanson has the floor. Keep that in mind.

MR HANSON: Maybe it is a debate for another time; but, if anybody has actually seen a leader of their party hide from debate so that they can go last in this chamber, I would be most interested to hear when that has ever happened in this place before.

In bringing this motion forward, the Liberal Party calls on the government to do certain things:

… to prioritise spending in the Budget context to ensure that:

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