Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 25 March 2010) . . Page.. 1599 ..
would be adjourned until the advice that we have just spoken about in the previous motion was received and therefore it would be adjourned to a later day. That was the view of the Assembly this morning and it should remain the view of the Assembly this afternoon.
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (6.11): I would have expected that we would hear from the Greens why they are going to support the suspension of standing orders. But, as is their wont lately, they do not want to have whatever they say in any way refuted or tested, which is why again we do not see them getting to their feet to say why they want to throw out this convention. Mrs Dunne, I think, has explained very clearly about how this has operated in this place. This is a convention that the Greens, without wanting to argue why they are going to do it, are going to throw out, along with the Labor Party.
Let us go back to how we got here. We got here because we had an extraordinary suspension today of the Assembly on the basis that the Greens, through Ms Hunter, got up and during the debate said, “Well, actually, we cannot make a decision on this motion until we seek further advice, and that might take a couple of weeks,” and we heard from Ms Hunter that that was why we should do it.
So we proceeded actually to agree to an adjournment of Mrs Dunne’s motion so that we could go and get independent, external, expert advice in order to make a decision on Mrs Dunne’s motion. Now the Greens, again changing their minds, have said: “Well, no, what we said to you this morning we did not really mean. We have changed our minds again. We are not going to honour our word and what we are going to do is actually bring on the vote on the motion that we said we needed external advice on, presumably vote it down, and then go and get the external advice which may or may not tell us that we are wrong.”
It is becoming almost impossible on a day-to-day basis to deal with the Greens. Ms Bresnan can laugh, but she did not want to get up; she had the opportunity to get up and say why. We cannot accept their word. It took the Greens and the Liberals to agree to the adjournment; I do not believe the Labor Party agreed to the adjournment. So we were party to an agreement to adjourn the Assembly. It was adjourned so we could have expert advice given to the Speaker. Now they are saying, “No, we will vote against the motion and then we will go and get the advice. We will endorse the conflict of interest and then we will come back and get advice.” It is a ridiculous process and it also is a breach of faith.
Ms Bresnan might think that is funny, but it is not. We in this parliament are often negotiating and at some level we have to trust that what the Greens and other parties tell us is true: that at some level there will be some good faith in some of the negotiations. What we have seen from Ms Hunter again today, presumably on the urging of Katy Gallagher, is: “No, we don’t need to keep our word. We don’t need to honour what we have said. We will turn around and do it in a completely different way to what we originally agreed.”
That was the only reason we adjourned in the first place. That was the only reason we had the extraordinary suspension—the extraordinary suspension so the Greens could