Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3711 ..
MRS DUNNE (11.55): Mr Speaker, this government has shown itself to be singularly lacking in courage today. They spent most of the end of last week and over the weekend-
MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, confine yourself to the reasons for the suspension of standing orders.
MRS DUNNE: I am. The reason for the suspension of standing orders is that if members moot the notion, as they have mooted publicly for half a week now, that there should be a censure of a member of this place, they should have the courage of their convictions and, according to convention in this place and others, raise it at the first possible opportunity.
This is the first possible opportunity and what it shows is that this lazy government is not ready to try to fillet somebody that they have been trying to fillet for years. When it comes to the time, their hand is not steady and they are not ready. They should suspend standing orders and move a censure motion now.
MS TUCKER (11.56): I just want to raise a couple of questions that I would like the government, in particular, to respond to. I am not clear on whether a censure motion has been mooted by Labor. I understood one was, but I thought it was to be from Mrs Cross. I have heard now that it was also by Labor. I would like clarification on that. The problem I have is that I thought Labor supported our having this debate this morning to respond to the Privileges Committee report. Obviously, it was well under way when it was adjourned. Mr Wood is now saying that it should come up under Assembly business, which does not seem to be consistent.
We started this debate, as I understand it, because it is necessary to have this debate before we consider a censure motion as the two are related. As the debate has been adjourned on the Privileges Committee report, as we have not had a full debate on that, it does not seem to me to be sensible to deal with a censure motion, because it could influence how people would vote on the censure motion. Also, it is my understanding that a censure motion or a no-confidence motion should be brought on quickly, that that has been the convention in this place.
I can remember being forced to bring on a no-confidence motion in Kate Carnell immediately because that was the convention here in the early days. I would like to know the intentions of the government in terms of how long they want to delay the completion of this debate on the Privileges Committee report. I do not know why they have adjourned the debate. I would like to know that. We could have the rest of the debate on the committee's report today and then we could deal with a censure motion, if appropriate. Obviously, I cannot reflect on the vote for the adjournment, but I would like to know why and whether the government is prepared to bring the debate on again today.
MR WOOD (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Minister for Disability, Housing and Family Services): I seek leave to speak again.