Page 1209 - Week 04 - Thursday, 17 March 2005

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The problem the Liberal Party has is that it cannot handle that. They cannot handle the fact they have got to marshal their arguments. They have got to have an argument in the first place and they have got to be able to present it succinctly and coherently. And they have singly failed to do that throughout the term of this Assembly so far, because they just cannot get their heads around the fact that they have got to work within the standing orders. They are going to have to get used to it, because the people of the ACT expect politicians to get on with the job, to talk about the key issues and make a decision.

What they do not expect is for last-minute Dunne and all the others over there to always have the last say and always get the issues out from their perspective, no matter what.


MR CORBELL: I am sorry, Mrs Dunne, last-minute Mrs Dunne. That is what Mrs Dunne is like.

MR SPEAKER: You will refer to members by their proper name, by their proper title.

MR CORBELL: My apologies, Mr Speaker. Mrs Dunne is a particularly bad perpetrator of this. She always has to have the last say. She cannot cope with someone else having the last say. That is why she is so miffed about not getting leave to say whatever she likes whenever she wants to. And other members are like that, too. That is the reality that the Liberal Party has failed to come to grips with so far in this place.

But you look at any coherent organised opposition in any other parliament in the country and they use the standing orders effectively; they do not bitch and whine about not being able to do their job within the standing orders. And that is exactly what this Liberal Party cannot cope with.

This side of the house has been just as disciplined as the other side of the house, Mr Speaker. We have not sought leave to extend our comments. We have not sought leave to speak again. We have been just as disciplined. We are not saying it is one standard for you and one standard for us. This government is doing exactly the same thing. We are sticking by the standing orders; we are creating coherent and reasonable arguments within the time limits as provided by the standing orders; and we are getting on with the job.

So that is the government’s perspective on this. It is a reasonable request that you simply do your work in accordance with the rules of this place—nothing more and nothing less. That is exactly the approach the government will continue to take.

In relation to Friday: as I have indicated, there is a range of legislation on the notice paper, much of it only just introduced. We can bring it on for debate if you like. We can bring it on tomorrow if you like. It was introduced but we could bring it on tomorrow if you are really keen to do the work. But, quite clearly, that is not reasonable.

Mrs Dunne: Bring it on.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mrs Dunne!

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