Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 October 2010) . . Page.. 4630 ..
something about it. She went out of her way to ask me whether I had a copy of the statement, so at any time Ms Burch could have corrected things and made things better, but she did not. This is why the Canberra Liberals on this occasion are not giving leave to Ms Burch. Ms Burch needs to learn the forms of this house and the conventions of this house. The forms and conventions of this house are that when a minister makes a ministerial statement, as a courtesy, which is something that I think Ms Burch is not particularly familiar with, you give those other members of the parties who are interested a copy of the statement, so that they have an opportunity to peruse what is going to be said.
Ms Burch, on the previous occasion, abused this and came into the Assembly and departed radically from the script, in a way that was critical of members of this place. If she was prepared to say it in here, she should have been prepared and should have had the courage to put in writing what she was going to say, which was critical of other members of this Assembly. She was not prepared to do it, and she abused the forms and conventions of this house. Therefore, the Canberra Liberals will not give Ms Burch leave. That is why we are opposing leave today.
MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (3.46): The Greens will support the motion to suspend standing orders to allow the minister to make a statement. I must say that I do agree that Ms Burch fell well short of her obligations the last time she made a ministerial statement, and I understand and share the Liberal Party’s frustration and disappointment with the standard of her conduct while making that statement. It simply is not appropriate to abuse the leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement and then to engage in political attacks on or take pot shots at other members.
Ministerial statements are an important means of communicating departmental activities to the Legislative Assembly, and it is appropriate that ministers be given the opportunity to do so. We entrust ministers with a significant level of responsibility, and it is necessary and appropriate that they report back to the Assembly on the work they are undertaking. It is for this reason that we agree to facilitate the ministerial statement today.
The subject of the statement is an important one and something that the Assembly should be formally made aware of. It is disappointing that we find ourselves in this situation and that we have a minister whose conduct has been so inappropriate that it warranted this criticism. I trust that Minister Burch will stick to her statement, and I do assure Liberal members that, if the minister does deviate from the statement that we have been provided with, we will take steps and support the prevention of her continuing to speak.
It is important, if we have been provided with a ministerial statement, that that is the statement that is delivered. As I said, these are important matters. Minister Burch has significant responsibilities. We do need to hear from her on these matters, but we really need to uphold the dignity of the Assembly, the integrity of the office and to “stick to the script”, so to speak.
MR CORBELL: (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and