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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 October 2010) . . Page.. 4552 ..

leave to the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister is the longest serving head of government in the country. He is the longest serving Chief Minister in this place. He has taken an extremely limited number of days, fewer than a handful of days, absence from the Assembly during its sitting in the period that he has been Chief Minister or, indeed, when in opposition.

Of course, it is worth observing that the opposition’s backflip on the issue of leave comes after they advised the government whip last week that they would not support the granting of leave in relation to this matter. So one can only speculate on what the reasons were for their change of position. But, equally, it is worth observing that, when the Deputy Chief Minister took a period of leave earlier this year, the opposition criticised that as well, even though the Deputy Chief Minister took that leave at a time when the Assembly was not sitting. So it is quite clear that the opposition have no credibility on these issues.

Members are entitled to take periods of leave, particularly after periods of long service. The Chief Minister has done just that, and I am sure every Canberran would understand that, after extended periods of service, everyone, even a chief minister, deserves to get a break. That is exactly what our Chief Minister has done. He is entitled to do so. It is the same sort of entitlement that is extended to every member of the public service every year but it is not something that apparently is available to the Chief Minister.

The Liberals show their increasing irrelevance and churlishness in this place by the approach they have adopted today, but I thank the Greens for their support for passage of this motion.

Mr Hanson: I seek leave to speak again. I want to make it very clear, Mr Speaker—

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson! Is leave granted to Mr Hanson to speak again?

Leave not granted.

Mrs Dunne: Under standing order 47 you do not need leave.

Mr Hanson: I do not need leave?

Mrs Dunne: Surely Mr Hanson does not need leave to speak, under standing order 47, to clarify matters that are raised in the debate.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Corbell has closed the debate, Mrs Dunne.

Mrs Dunne: Could I seek your clarification? Standing order 47 does not apply when the debate is closed?

MR SPEAKER: Just a moment, I will have a look.

Mr Corbell: Generally speaking, that is done after the motion.

Mrs Dunne: No.

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