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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 October 2010) . . Page.. 4836 ..


declined leave for Mr Barr as well. This is not a vendetta against Ms Burch; it is the Canberra Liberals consistently implementing their policy in relation to procedures in this place.

We now have this artifice that there is a difference between ministerial statements and statements by ministers. Our view has been, and it has been consistently expressed at government business meetings, that we will grant leave on the usual conditions which have been agreed across parliaments and across Assemblies in this place. There was an agreement at the beginning of this term. It was adhered to until quite recently. In fact, when the government started making its statements by minister as opposed to ministerial statements, the same courtesy was extended. I recall that Mr Barr gave Mr Smyth a copy of a statement that he was going to make on tourism. You do not have to look in the standing orders; it is not there. This is a convention and an agreement.

Mr Barr: I am just looking at the difference between a ministerial statement and a statement by a minister.

MRS DUNNE: That is not there either.

Mr Barr: That is not there, either? All right.

MRS DUNNE: Yes. If you knew your standing orders, you would know that already. This is something that Mr Corbell, as the manager of government business, has valiantly put together because the ACT Labor Party have no business, and they are trying to pad it out. If they want to pad out their sitting days, that is fine, but they do it according to the ways that we have already agreed on.

The convention in this parliament and others is that when ministers make statements, they extend the courtesy of giving the people in the other parties who have an interest in the matter a forward copy so that they will be informed about matters that are being discussed so they can contribute to the discussion in an effective way. It is not just an opportunity for a minister to get up here and grandstand.

The Canberra Liberals will continue to decline leave until the ministers in this place extend the courtesies that have previously been agreed to. I want to emphasise that it was remiss on my part that I missed Mr Barr asking for leave. It may appear that we are picking on Ms Burch. This is not about Ms Burch; this is about the government and their discourtesy to the members of this place. We do not believe that the minister should have leave until she extends the courtesy of giving a copy of her statement to the appropriate shadow.

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (10.49): We will be granting Ms Burch leave. I must say that I did receive a copy of the statement. I do not know if the same courtesy was extended to the Liberals or not. I do think that is an issue. However, I would suggest that, rather than having this debate here now, I think this is an issue which we need to bring up through our administration and procedure committee or through the whips. I was not aware that the Canberra Liberals did not get a copy. If that has not occurred, that is something which needs to be addressed.


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