Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 September 2011) . . Page.. 4020 ..
given notice. When we look ahead at the presentation of papers today, there are a number of papers there. In many cases ministers ask to make a short statement and as a matter of course we grant leave.
If it is the new standard from the government, which it appears to be today, that leave will not be granted then that will apply across the board and we will have to go through this rigmarole every time someone wants to speak. I do not think we want to get into that way of doing things. It will be slow, it will be cumbersome and it will be unhelpful. But if it is the government’s position from here on in that they will not grant leave—
Mr Corbell: No, it’s the position you’re imposing on us already.
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Minister, please.
MR SESELJA: It is not. Mr Corbell interjects. He interjects without the facts.
Mrs Dunne: Go on—name him.
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: I do not need your advice.
MR SESELJA: We often grant leave without any notice. After every question time we do. As of today, we will not, until this is resolved. It cannot be one rule for us and one rule for them. All members should be treated with courtesy. There should be a reasonable time to speak. Mr Smyth should have been allowed to speak and in the ordinary course of events he would have been. It is a ridiculous hissy fit from Mr Corbell because he is having a bad morning. But if that is the precedent, that is the way we will operate. I think that will be unfortunate, but until further notice that will be the new standard applied.
Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella): Thank you, members, for the courtesy that is normally extended. It is interesting that the rules are so flexible now. This is an important 246A statement from the public accounts committee on Auditor-General’s report No 6 of 2009: Government office accommodation. It is important for a number of reasons. The public accounts committee took a very forward-looking view when we undertook this discussion, as so nicely outlined by Ms Le Couteur, in that we wanted to find any lessons that could be learned and applied to future projects. And lo and behold, a future project came sailing along—the $432 million great big government office building. The committee made an interim report asking that a number of things occur. It asked for some information to be given to the committee. It asked that no contracts be signed until such time as some work had been done. It asked for the government to finalise its office accommodation strategy. What did we get from the government? “No, no, no.”
We have got a unanimous report from a committee of the Assembly asking the government to do something and what do we get from the government? We get: “Get lost. Go away. We’re not listening to you. We will do as we please.” This does raise the question of the government being accountable to the Assembly and it does raise