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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2010) . . Page.. 2103 ..

Let us get serious for a quick minute and a half, Mr Speaker. I have to tell you that one of the things I thought was really poor after being involved in about 11 of these things, maybe 12—

Mr Doszpot: Too many by the sounds of it—too many.

MR HARGREAVES: That is the first time I have heard Mr Doszpot speak in six months. He has actually found his voice. He had lost his voice but now he has found it again. It was down in the bottom drawer.

Mr Speaker, the behaviour of members in badgering people, in not taking directions from the chair, which was a legitimate request, was the worst performance that I have seen since I have been here—from both sides. These people here have had the temerity in years gone by to attack me and to attack my ministerial colleagues of the day for their responses. If their behaviour from that side of the table elicited any response they were quite lucky. Their bullying, their badgering, was just unacceptable and unparliamentary. Quite frankly, they contributed absolutely nothing.

The point is that they were led, and the fish rots from the head. What happened here was that Mr Seselja led the charge and Mrs Dunne followed. To their credit, Mr Doszpot and Mr Coe did not engage in that tactic and I salute them for that. Mr Hanson is as guilty as the other two caped crusaders. They do not know how to act as parliamentarians. Apart from that, I have got nothing to say. (Time expired.)

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (10.48): First, I would like to thank Ms Hunter, the committee chair. She did an excellent job in chairing the hearings and particularly in allowing all members to ask questions about particular issues for them. I would also like to thank the rest of the committee. It was an interesting process, as always—as last year’s was. I would particularly like to thank the secretariat staff. They do a magnificent job through this estimates process. It is not easy; it is a long couple of weeks. They have to go through these hearings and then put together the report. They did a fantastic job in doing that, and I cannot thank them enough for it. I would also like to thank all our staff across the Greens’ offices for the work they did throughout this whole process in terms of questioning and going through and analysing the budget.

I rise today to speak in support of the report that has been handed down by the estimates committee and reflect on the 2010-11 estimates process. In doing so, I wish to reflect on the manner in which MLAs hold the government to account and scrutinise the government’s spending of taxpayer funds.

Accountability is more than a newspaper headline. What difference does it make to the Canberra taxpayer if the story that is pursued is sensationalist in nature or contains mistruths? How does it actually improve the lives of Canberrans? Or what dedication—

Mr Hanson: It is the only way that Health actually manage patients these days, Amanda.

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