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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3710 ..

Mr Stanhope: No, we wanted the debate on Thursday. We didn't want it today. You brought it on.

MR HUMPHRIES: But you have talked about a censure motion, and the convention is-

Mr Stanhope: No, I said that it is an option. It is always an option.

MR HUMPHRIES: On Saturday, someone on behalf of the government purported to say that you were considering a censure motion. Mr Speaker, it is appropriate and fair, using the convention of this place, that the motion be dealt with at the first available opportunity. I ask the house to respect that convention and see this matter is dealt with today. To leave that sword hanging over-

Mr Stanhope: We are not making our decisions based on your Senate preselection campaign.

MR HUMPHRIES: I know that that is what you have been thinking a lot about.

Mr Stanhope: Your Senate preselection campaign is irrelevant to us, mate. We don't make our decisions based on that.

MR HUMPHRIES: If it is irrelevant, why do you keep talking about it, Mr Stanhope, at every available opportunity-in the media, in this place and everywhere else?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Humphries, direct your comments through the chair.

Mr Stanhope: The fact that you are trying to get the numbers is not a matter for us.

MR HUMPHRIES: I haven't got them, according to you. I have lost that backing, according to you. Mr Speaker, the fact of the matter is that we have established rules in this place about such things. We have a convention, and the convention is well based. If members seek to invoke that convention, they ought to employ it today and have the matter dealt with now. If you want to move for censure of the Opposition Leader, go right ahead, but do it today.

MR WOOD (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services) (11.54): The government has a business paper. It is not massive, but we wish to get on with it. This item would be routinely listed for Assembly business on Thursday, which is when it would have come up in normal circumstances and when it should come up.

I am aware that the media have asked whether a censure motion is coming. I think the general response has been that there are options to be considered and that may be one of them, but it would be at our timing. The debate on this matter would be at our timing on Assembly business and that is when it should be done. Mr Humphries brought up this matter this morning on the floor of the Assembly, so he has no particular prerogative now to take it further forward today. That prerogative holds for the government.

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