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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 345 ..

MR CORNWELL (continuing):

I applaud Mr Corbell for his honesty. At least he told us where he was coming from. He said that we have an opportunity in private members business. What point is private members business? Under the new regime of the iron fist, this will not make any difference. We can move whatever motions we like in this place, and they will not have any effect. If this motion does not have any effect, then why should any other?

Ms Tucker talked about conventions. I must remind crossbenchers they have a particular and very onerous responsibility in this matter. I am surprised and sorry that Ms Tucker, who is such a paragon of consultation with the community, has abdicated that responsibility with her comments just now. In this matter the crossbenchers have a great responsibility to the people of the ACT. If you do not support attempts to get the government to accept the moves that have been put forward in this place and the motions that have been passed, then you are abdicating your responsibilities. There is nothing that an opposition can do without your help. I strongly urge you to reconsider your position. Otherwise, everything we do and everything we pass in this place that is not of the government's liking or choosing they will ignore. They are not responsible. I find that an appalling situation. All members should think extremely carefully of their responsibilities to the people of the ACT.

MRS DUNNE (4.57): We are seeking to suspend standing orders because yesterday and today are a new low in representative government in this place. The sheer arrogance and the disdain with which this minister and the government hold this place and the people of the ACT are utterly appalling. I hope that when this is reported the people of the ACT will see that this is not a group of heroes; that this is a bunch of shonks who cannot face a simple direction on a simple matter which had the support of a very sound majority in this place across all parties except one.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I think "a bunch of shonks"is unparliamentary.

MRS DUNNE: I withdraw "a bunch of shonks". This government is sending a clear message that they will do whatever they want on anything that they want because they are the government, they are the Labor Party and they are born to rule.

We had an unacceptable response from Ms Tucker, who said, "We cannot possibly suspend standing orders, because the place will become totally unruly."I tell you what will make this place totally unruly and make this territory totally unruly-if ministers in this government can get away with doing what they want and flouting motions passed by the lawfully elected representatives. Ms Tucker is straining at gnats to cover her hypocrisy.

MR SPEAKER: The time allowed by standing orders for this debate has expired.

Question put:

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