Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (27 March) . . Page.. 899 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

On that issue, I will not support Mr Kaine being ejected today. I think the horse has bolted, it is over, but it is clear that problems are developing, especially at question time. I think that control has been lost. Perhaps that is a slight shot at you, Mr Speaker, but I have witnessed in this Assembly, especially in the last 12 months, that the situation has just degenerated into a farce at times. I would encourage you to assert your authority.

Mr Hargreaves: On both sides.

MR OSBORNE: If you do that, if you are consistent and you are fair, we will support you; but on both sides, as Mr Hargreaves says. We have been dealing with the government, Mr Moore in particular, on this motion and I quite like it. I intend to support it when it comes back for debate later in the year. But I do think that the proper process is for it to go before the Administration and Procedure Committee, of which I am a member. I look forward to discussing it within the confines of that committee. Often, a lot of the heat goes out of these debates when they go from the floor of the Assembly to a committee. I do intend to support the motion.

I quite like the first part of Mr Kaine's amendment about question time, because there are times when dorothy dixers are asked and we sit here for 15 minutes listening to a prepared answer. I would be quite happy for ministers to table their speeches to save a little bit of time. I have not discussed the part about standing order 160. I think Mr Kaine did raise it a while ago. I will talk to him about that. It is a fact that his surname starts with a K and not a Z, but I am happy to look at that.

In saying that, I am disappointed that this whole situation has arisen. It arose because I was not here. It really has reinforced in me the importance of the role of the crossbench in the functioning of this Assembly. It really has broken down because of what happened, and that is regrettable. We do take our job seriously. I apologise for not being here, but I believe that my priorities were right, Mr Speaker. I accept what Ms Tucker had to say to me. I do not necessarily agree with what she had to say, but I accept her explanation. As I have said, I intend to support the introduction of a sin bin, for want of a better term, that is being proposed by Mr Moore, and look forward to the discussion within the Administration and Procedure Committee.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (11.17): I wish to make a couple of points, Mr Speaker. The first point to be made, to respond to some of the comments by Mr Osborne, is that if we had majority government the situation would not have arisen at all. To draw some conclusion that the crossbench provides stability is something that could be argued quite consistently. I think Mr Humphries and I probably would have a similar view on that. I am one of those who would just as happily see nine Liberals in the place as the current configuration of the joint. In that event, the vote would not have been lost by the government. The Manager of Government Business would not have forgotten to count, would not have been carried away in the heat of the moment and failed to recall that he did not have the ninth vote, the vote that he normally relies on as a matter of course.

I am not sure that it is so much a question of Mr Osborne providing stability. It was just that, on an occasion when the government automatically assumed it had your vote, Mr Osborne, you were not here for it to be taken. There is a whole range of scenarios that we can run about the role of the crossbenchers in relation to the events of the day.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .