Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 May 2011) . . Page.. 1836 ..
In paragraph (2), omit “calls on”, substitute “directs”.
Based on my experience of the way the government take these motions in this place—and it is quite clear from the Loxton motion that we ran last year—they just let them go over their heads and do not give them the due regard that they should. I think that if we are to get this information on the first sitting day in June 2011 it is important for this place to direct the government to table that information. It is important information. These are time lines about what government are doing about their policies. They should have this information now. It should be in their work program. It should not be hard to distil that information and put it into a document, as Mr Rattenbury outlines in paragraph (2)(a) of his motion. Paragraph (2)(b) then calls on the government to simply conform to the time lines that they are setting for themselves.
That cannot be particularly hard. But I have been here a little while and I have seen how they act. Mr Stanhope is here. Perhaps Mr Stanhope will tell us whether or not he believes the Greens are carping from the sidelines, as Mr Corbell pointed out to the Assembly earlier in this debate. It is a simple amendment. It just deletes the words “calls on” and substitutes the word “directs”. I commend the amendment to the Assembly.
MR CORBELL: (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.58): The government will not accept and will not agree to Mr Smyth’s amendment. As a matter of principle, the government will not accept that matters that are within the prerogative of the executive, which is to determine the time frame and the timing of policy matters, should be subject to any sort of direction on the part of the Assembly. It would be akin to the executive trying to direct the Assembly as to how it conducts its business.
Mr Smyth: The Assembly directs its own business, and you know it.
MR CORBELL: Indeed; the Assembly does direct its own business, but so does the executive, Madam Deputy Speaker—so does the executive. The executive will determine its times frames and its points at which it determines and announces its policy measures. It will be held accountable for that. To suggest that the Assembly should direct the government in this regard is not acceptable to the government, and we will not be supporting it.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.00): I actually was not going to speak to this. We were just going to vote in support of Mr Smyth’s amendment, but in light of Mr Corbell’s comments it does seem necessary to make a comment, just simply to clarify that I think Mr Corbell has to some extent got the wrong end of the stick. We are not directing the government as to what the time line should be; we are simply asking them to make it clear to the Assembly exactly what the time lines are.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait