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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 October 2010) . . Page.. 4551 ..


MR HANSON: I think it is—regarding Mr Stanhope going on leave and demanding that he be granted a pair is somehow disgraceful. If European holidays are now to be considered justification for pairs then one really has to consider what is not a justification for a pair and when in this place we will actually say no to a pair. The opposition and the government have been entirely generous in the granting of pairs. I have not refused a pair request. And those opposite—

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson. We have had a brief discussion on the relevance of pairs. Let us wrap up the pairs thing and come back to the question of leave, thank you.

MR HANSON: Well, I think I have made my point, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes.

MR HANSON: I will wrap up. In conclusion, I think that the decision by Mr Stanhope to take a holiday and prioritise that over his duties as the Chief Minister, the head of government and as a member of this Assembly, is very disappointing. I think that the people of the ACT will consider it so. I think that they will see that empty chair there. They will consider the opportunities that the Chief Minister has to take leave on 38 other weeks of the year. They will consider how difficult it is for them to get away from their own jobs as they are struggling to meet housing affordability pressures, the increase in rates, the power bills they have to pay, the difficulty for an average member of the community to get away and take leave, and they will find it just extraordinary that the Chief Minister would decide to prioritise his holiday and his leave above his responsibilities as the head of this government and as a member of the Assembly.

I think that that empty chair for the next two weeks should stand as a reminder of how out of touch this government have become if they think that it is appropriate for the Chief Minister to take holidays while he should be here and fulfilling his duties as the Chief Minister.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (10.15): The Greens will support the motion to grant leave of absence to Mr Stanhope. We are a small Assembly and it is inevitable that members will be absent at some stage. Whilst it is certainly not desirable that the Chief Minister is not here for the sittings and we would prefer that he was here, it is not unreasonable that he be away from the Assembly for a short period. Again, as I said, it is not desirable but I think that it is appropriate that leave is granted.

The community knows that he has chosen to have this absence and, if they do not feel that they have been well represented by him, they can and will vote once we get to the 2012 election. So, again, I just say that the Greens will support the motion to grant leave of absence to Mr Stanhope.

MR CORBELL: (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.16), in reply: I thank the Greens for their support to grant


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