Page 1495 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 April 2005
Take, for instance, the bill yesterday. I was speaking for a group of people that it seems very few people in this place have even thought about. That is my job. My job, I feel, is to be on those committees. You will know, you will remember, how I fought with the government in my early weeks about committee membership because I see, in a house with a majority government, that those committees are extremely important. I have not yet been on an estimates committee; I do not know how they work; I have heard. If I knew how it was worked, perhaps I would be suggesting myself for chair, but I do not feel that, as yet, I have the qualification to do that.
What we see here is what I thought was the way politics is done. I was not on that committee. The person who made the decision about who was on that committee was Mr Corbell. I went to see Mr Corbell and talked to him about it. Mr Corbell told me, “We are a majority government and feel, as a result of that, that it is up to us to decide whether you can be on the committee or not.” That is the reality of it. No doubt that decision was not made just by Mr Corbell. No doubt consultation occurred with the whole party, the whole group of people. I do not know how the Labor Party works. I know how I work, though, and I am seeing a little bit of how you guys work. I am not impressed.
I will not be supporting this motion. I would hate to see a media release go out, or something like that, saying that the Greens are now supporting the Labor Party. I am standing up for myself here, I am standing up for my party and I am defending my role in this place. I think that that is enough for now. I did believe that we would be debating the appointment motion later. That might be the place for these discussions.
I am not happy to see, again, a lot of time being wasted. I do consider it a waste. I think there are other ways that we in opposition could operate, because I am also in opposition. Sometimes I feel as though I am the only opposition, by the way. I think there are other ways that we can work. Liberals, I thought we could do this together sometimes. I feel that we are going to have a little bit of relationship building to do after this.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (11.11): Mr Speaker, it seems to be par for the course now for the Liberal Party that, whenever they are unhappy with a decision, they seek first of all to personalise it, vilify the person who made the decision, and then seek to make political gains out of it by moving a motion such as the one we have this morning. It just shows that the Liberals cannot distinguish the political from the personal. They cannot make the distinction between the decision-making role of a government and the role of an individual in outlining the decisions of that government and the personal—what the person does as an individual.
It is a sad indictment of the Liberal Party that they cannot get beyond the personal in their conduct in this place. It is a sad indictment of the mover of this motion, the Leader of the Opposition, that he is unable to lift himself as leader of the opposition party above the personal and to reflect on the broader issues that Dr Foskey outlined quite eloquently this morning.
This no confidence motion really warrants very little, if any, attention. The reason is that it is simply a rehashing of everything that we have heard before in this place. It really is simply an attempt by the Liberal Party to say, “We don’t like Mr Corbell. We are