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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 October 2018) . . Page.. 4045 ..


Members interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: Members on my left, you are asking to suspend standing orders. Have some respect and regard for those that want to participate in the debate.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (10.18): It is quite clear that the Greens support Mr Parton’s legislation and we—

Members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, I have said that you will be warned very soon and it is only 10.20.

MR RATTENBURY: We indicated clearly to Mr Parton and his colleagues, and also to the government, that we intended to support Mr Parton’s legislation. Of course, it was Ms Le Couteur who originally moved the motion and who floated this idea as one that we think will make a positive contribution to housing affordability.

The problem we have is that you cannot just unilaterally decide you want to change the rules when they do not suit you. That is the dilemma we face today. That is the bottom line here. We were given the advice from the Clerk yesterday. We sat down and carefully considered this overnight. We are of the view that this advice is sound. We do not particularly like it. It does not suit the outcome we want to achieve. But it is quite clear, once you go through it, that the application of standing order 179 from the federal parliament, which operates in default in the ACT in the absence of our standing orders, is explicit on this matter. It gives a clear indication that the financial prerogative sits with the executive and it does not sit with the legislature.

As members of the crossbench, that is not a position that always thrills us. There have been occasions on which we have wanted to do things in this place that we have been unable to do directly through a legislative pathway. That is how it works for us sometimes. But we accept the principles of how this place works. We have also at times sought to change the rules. But you cannot just change the rules ad hoc because it suits you today. If we are going to change these rules, we need to do that through the administration and procedure committee and through this place passing new standing orders that allow that to be a standard practice of this chamber, not one that suits the Liberal Party.

I think we have been shown the true motivations of the Liberal Party on this this morning, in both Mr Parton’s speech, in which he directed quite some energy and potentially vitriol towards Ms Le Couteur, and then in the interjections and catcalling that came across the chamber as I stood up. Even before I got to open my mouth we heard the catcalling coming from the opposition. It is all about the politics of this matter and not about the substance.

Mr Parton: We just want to make it happen. We just want to make it happen, Shane.


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