Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 September 2019) . . Page.. 3862 ..
That leave of absence be granted to Ms Cody for today due to illness.
Motion (by Mr Wall) agreed to:
That leave of absence be granted to Miss C Burch for today due to illness.
Notice No 5—private members’ business
Dissent from ruling
MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (3.00), by leave: I move:
That the Speaker’s ruling be dissented from.
Madam Speaker, I think it very inappropriate that you should rule out Miss Burch’s motion on public transport today. I think it sets a very dangerous precedent for this place that pretty much we are able to tackle such a significant issue only once per calendar year. Of course, this is a very live issue in our community. It is a very live issue. This is an issue that is evolving almost day by day, but definitely week by week.
We have had promise after promise from this government with regard to improvements to the bus network. This is evidenced by the fact that the Chief Minister has had many media releases this year talking about the bus network but also alerting the public to changes with the proposed network. So for us not be able to re-litigate and litigate current and past issues in the context of what has been announced I think does this place a considerable disservice.
The motion that was moved back in May called on the government to provide data. The motion in August called for improvements to the real time system and to update the timetable. The motion on the notice paper today details numerous issues, but at a much broader level it calls on the government to fix the significant problems plaguing network 19.
What your ruling in effect does, Madam Speaker, is say to the Assembly, regardless of whether it is a government, opposition or crossbench motion, that we now cannot discuss network 19 as a motion on a future Wednesday. Is the government going to be allowed to come in here and discuss network 19 in the Assembly? Is the government going to come in here and be able to make a ministerial statement on network 19? Or are you going to rule that we have dealt with that issue?
It is absolutely absurd that despite change after change to the network this year, including the recent announcement that weekend timetables are going two hourly, we are not able to discuss that here. I think it is a terrible decision. It is a terrible decision and it does our democracy no good whatsoever. That is why I urge members to dissent from your ruling.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Advanced Technology and Space Industries, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and