Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 3523 ..
MRS CROSS (continuing):
censure is about the minister thumbing his nose at nine Assembly colleagues when, to him, they became superfluous when their resolution did not suit his agenda. Perhaps, had this minister made some attempt to negotiate or compromise, thereby showing a willingness to respect the motion that was passed by the nine members of the 17 in this place, we would not be here facing a censure motion.
This is not about expecting the minister to perform miracles, expecting the minister to overturn decisions that he or his department feel are valid or worthy. This is about the minister basically saying, without saying it to his colleagues, "Go to buggery. You are not important. You are only important when I need your numbers or your vote, but frankly I do not care if you represent the majority of voters in this city."
I am sorry, but that is not what people put us here to do. We are not here to indulge the whim of one person. We are here to represent the people who elected us and put us in this place. Like it or not, that is a fact. Like it or not, this is a minority government. Like it or not, the crossbench is important, and that has to be remembered. I think the former government knew that. The current government has to get its act together and just accept the fact that that is the way it is.
What happens after the next election is another story, it is another kettle of fish and you can deal with it at the time. You have at least another year in this place, and to thumb your nose at the people who are here, not knowing who will be here next time and who will not be, is not a very wise thing to do when we take our jobs as elected representatives very seriously.
If the aim of this minister was to win the award for the most dismissive and arrogant minister then I hereby declare-arrogantly as well-this minister the winner, hands down, and someone can bestow on him an HRH title forthwith.
MR PRATT (3.43): I rise to point out that Mr Corbell's arrogance on this matter is only but one in a series of arrogant behaviours by this minister. I very briefly point to his treatment of the Assembly and his treatment of the community. I would point out that the two issues are his thumbing his nose at the majority on the Gungahlin Drive issue and his desire to arbitrarily rule out religious education when in fact we still had a draft exposure bill to be examined by the Assembly.
However, going to the nub of the issue, the executive is accountable to the Assembly. Yes, the government, as Mr Corbell rightly pointed out, will be accountable to the people at the next election but, in the interim, it is accountable to the Assembly. Mr Corbell's weak smoke and mirrors response just now does not take away from this central principle of democracy: that the executive is accountable to the Assembly. The examples that I have given illustrate Mr Corbell's arbitrary, arrogant nature and now this Nettlefold Street issue goes straight to the heart of what this minister thinks about his accountability.
Mr Speaker, in the Nettlefold Street case, Mr Corbell is going against the will of the Assembly. Mr Corbell should have fulfilled his duty to both the Assembly and the people of the ACT. If Mr Corbell cannot carry out the will of the Assembly, he should not be given the responsibility of a portfolio. Perhaps, as well as being censured, Mr Corbell