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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2581 ..


way that it is done on the hill. On the hill, Mr Albanese asks questions of the relevant minister based on the strategy of the opposition on the day, to get the most effect out of question time. It is not done on a rotation, with every Labor member on the hill asking a question in succession. No other opposition in the world, that I am aware of, operates like that.

Digging into the history of this matter, the only reason we have this standing order in the Assembly is because a disgruntled backbencher, way back before any of us was in the Assembly, changed the standing orders on the fly. I understand that this will not get the support of the Assembly today. Mr Braddock has kindly agreed to adjourn the debate on this motion so that we can bring it back on another date.

The other thing is: why do you lot care? If the opposition wants to do it this way, why have you all got your knickers in a twist about it? I just do not get it. This is the way we want to do business; this is the way we want to ask questions. We have a strategy for asking questions, just as you lot do. Why not just allow us to do that? Why are you demanding, in essence, in perpetuity, that every single member of the opposition must ask a question?

It is unclear to me, because there has been no substantive argument about what we have proposed. In actual fact, Mr Gentleman has just moved exactly the same motion, but he only wants it to have effect until 15 October. It is unclear to me why you would not agree to this on an ongoing basis. No-one in this place has been able to provide any substantive argument as to why we cannot do so. You have just argued for the same thing, but only until 15 October. It is all a bit strange as to why you would not agree to this on an ongoing basis, other than saying that we have to send it to a committee. That seems to be the default position of this mob.

Mr Rattenbury: Why do you want to silence your backbench, Jeremy?

MR HANSON: Mr Rattenbury interjects that I am trying to silence the backbench. We work as a team. Over on this side of the chamber, we work as a team. Certainly, since I have been in this place—I understand this has always been the protocol—we get together, work out a strategy and decide who is going to ask those questions. It is not a free-for-all, just as it is not on that side. The Greens and the Labor Party have all of their questions prepared. They work as a team; they ask their Dorothy Dixers. In fact, we had the bizarre situation earlier this year when, in answer to one of the Dorothy Dixers asked of Mr Steel, he simply re-read verbatim the ministerial statement that he had given earlier in the day.

This motion will not get up. I do not understand why. Nobody has given me an explanation as to why. It seems that those opposite are more concerned with process than outcome in this circumstance. Mr Braddock will adjourn it and, hopefully, we can come back after 15 October and make this a permanent change to the standing orders.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency


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