Page 1186 - Week 04 - Thursday, 17 March 2005

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MR SPEAKER: No longer! You are not saying it any more. You can come to the point of the question.

Mr Stefaniak: All right—and I will come to the point, too. On only 80 times since we have had self-government and this Assembly has been operating has leave not been granted—51 times by Labor; 22 times by the Liberals; three times by the Greens and four times by others.

MR SPEAKER: If people want to wander through the history of these matters, they should put forward a particular motion to deal with that. All I am interested in is in hearing a debate. The standing orders call for a debate about the subject matter of the motion. The motion is about suspending the standing orders. I assume that you are arguing in the negative and I would like to hear why the standing orders should not be suspended.

Mr Stefaniak: I have indicated, if you want a reason for that, that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I do not particularly like putting it as crudely as that, because there is a courtesy involved. On most occasions in this place leave has been granted for the suspension of standing orders for the good operation of this parliament. We have seen over the last few months, on a very regular basis, leave not being granted. That, I think, is a very sad state of affairs.

MR SPEAKER: Resume your seat, Mr Stefaniak. The Clerk has drawn to my attention that Mr Corbell closed the debate when he rose earlier. Mrs Dunne, if you wish to speak, you will have to do so by leave.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra): I seek leave to be heard.

Leave granted.

MRS DUNNE: We are speaking to the suspension of standing orders today so as to make a point that Mr Corbell, as Manager of Government Business, does not seem to grasp, that is, that what is done in this place is done for the most part by virtue of courtesy. That is why we are speaking to the suspension of standing orders. We have not given leave and are requiring the minister to suspend standing orders so as to reinforce with the minister, who is the Manager of Government Business, the point that, if he wants to run this place in an efficient way, he has to afford a little courtesy, a little give and take.

Mr Corbell needs to realise that not everything that happens in here happens by fiat because he is a member of the Stanhope government; it happens because we do it in a way that creates a good process for operating in this Assembly. We have put Mr Corbell in a situation today where he needs to suspend standing orders to do something so that he understands the implications and understands that the courtesies he requires are a two-way street.

Mr Corbell keeps giving people lectures about courtesy, in the same way as Ms MacDonald likes to give people lessons about discipline. It really is a matter of courtesy here, which Mr Corbell, as Manager of Government Business, has failed

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