Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (12 November) . . Page.. 3419 ..
MR PRATT (11.52): Mr Speaker, the reason I sought the adjournment was that, whilst we think there is some merit in the government's legislation, clearly there are major concerns held by the major stakeholders in the ACT business community. They are still working through those concerns. They have not been able to see the detail of the government's proposal. I think it is fair that we do work right through these issues, and tease them through completely, before we bring this debate on. To that end, we seek the adjournment.
We will be happy to look at the positives of the government's legislation, but there are a number of issues we need to get to the bottom of first-and that is what we intend to do. We seek an adjournment and we will be happy to speak on this issue at the next opportunity.
MS TUCKER (11.53): I rise to say that I also do not know why the requirement for an adjournment has been put by Mr Pratt. I supported it because he tells me there are very serious concerns about the legislation, which I had not picked up. I am concerned that he cannot get up and tell us what those concerns are now, and that he did not talk to me and other members much before this morning. It is simply an issue of process in this place.
I am prepared to support an adjournment if there is a good reason for it. However, I would like a little more notice than one minute. Mr Pratt needs to prepare himself better and give us some arguments.
I am supporting the adjournment. However, I will support the government bringing this back on as soon as possible-unless there are some arguments presented by Mr Pratt.
MR HARGREAVES (11.54): Mr Speaker, I have seen many stunts pulled in this place over the time I have been here, most of which are usually accompanied by some sort of apology. I have not seen any apology for pulling this stunt today. It struck me as pretty ordinary behaviour to say, "Right, we are going to adjourn this, and we will tell you later."That was pre-empting the possibility that the government might say, "Okay then-we can do a deal. We will leave it until Thursday."Then it would have been okay. Nobody would have got upset about it-nobody would have had any angst about it.
We now have the word of the opposition that there is something really serious about it-but we have no idea what. Ms Tucker is absolutely right. It is just common courtesy to say, "Well look, hello-we've got these difficulties. How about we just leave it-even if we leave it until Thursday? How about we do that?"
This is supposed to be a place of debate, and all that sort of thing, but we also get accused of being a kindergarten parliament-a sandpit parliament. One of the ways in which we can stop being a sandpit parliament is to start having a little more respect for each other and say, "Okay then. I will extend to you the common courtesies that I would expect to be extended to us."
Never in my time in this place, in about 51/2 years, have I heard someone say, "We will adjourn it"-just like that. We have usually had some inkling that there is concern. We have usually had some inkling about what it is that disturbs the other side or-in the case of the last Assembly-the crossbench, but not this time. It has come straight out of the blue.