Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 October 2010) . . Page.. 4838 ..
deliberate strategy by the government to avoid the convention that has been agreed to, to provide speeches to both the Greens and to the Liberals prior to ministers making statements. This is a quite deliberate ploy; it is not some simple oversight.
So I would ask that the Greens consider what is occurring here. They are being essentially taken for a ride; they are their being manipulated by the government, as are we in this place. We want to make a very clear point that we will demand that the government continue to provide members of the opposition statements. Whether they call them ministerial statements or statements by a minister is not the issue. The issue is that we need a copy of those speeches. We will continue not to support leave until we actually get that issue resolved.
I am very disappointed that the Greens will not actually stand up to the government, but I suppose I am not entirely surprised that they are going to fail to do so. But let us make it very clear: the government need to stop playing games, they need to stop being tricky and they need to provide to the opposition and to the crossbench copies of statements, regardless of what they will be calling them.
MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (10.55): I just want to reiterate my colleague Ms Bresnan’s comments on this matter. Those comments were around the fact that it is not okay that it appears that the opposition did not receive these statements before they were made, regardless of whether it is a statement by a minister or a ministerial statement.
My colleague quite clearly outlined that we are not happy with this situation. It does need to be sorted out, and she put forward a couple of ways that this needs to happen—either through the administration and procedure committee or through the whips. There are a number of games being played in this place at the moment. She outlined the issue around amendments that are not being circulated or are being landed at the last minute. There are a number of matters that we do need to sort through. It is unseemly for this sort of behaviour to be going on in the parliament, and we do need to get to the bottom of the matter.
It is not necessarily the best position to be in, but at this stage we have received the statements this morning. We do acknowledge now, after hearing from the Canberra Liberals, that it appears they have not received the statements. It is not the way to go. It will not be behind closed doors, Mr Hanson. We said quite clearly that it should be done through the administration and procedure committee or the whips. But let us get a number of issues out on the table. Let us work through them. If there are conventions in place that need to be followed, let us get back to that path and let us follow that path.
MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (10.56), in reply: A couple of points very quickly. We talked about conventions, but this is not a convention. This is an agreement. I need to underscore that. We have the agreement and it relates to ministerial statements. When it comes to statements by leave, that is a completely different issue. I understand and respect the position that—
Mr Hanson: You are being tricky.