Page 4662 - Week 14 - Thursday, 24 November 2005

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Planning and Environment—Standing Committee

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.07): I had a very important speech to give in tonight’s adjournment regarding a petition to Mr Barnaby Joyce but it appears that we are still discussing the work performance of Mr Seselja. I should point out firstly that, in my speech earlier today, I did not mention anything about Mr Seselja’s attendance; I simply talked about the number of times we moved meeting dates for him.

Mr Seselja: Can you substantiate that?

MR GENTLEMAN: It will be in Hansard.

Mr Seselja: I’ve got all the minutes.

MR GENTLEMAN: I also talked about the amount of work this committee does and outlined the time frame for this DV. I would like to remind the chamber of what I said. For the benefit of the opposition, I repeat that the time frame was May, June, July, August, September, October and November—six months in my book. As I asked earlier, Mr Seselja, how many times did we reschedule or call special committee meetings for you to attend so we could work together as a committee; how many times did you say you had not read the report when attending a meeting specifically to discuss a report; and how many times are you going to complain about the workload instead of getting on with the job?

Mr Seselja: You are shameful; I cannot believe Simon would lead that charge.


MR GENTLEMAN: I have checked the attendances, now that Mr Seselja has reminded us. I would like to bring to the attention of members the fact that Mr Seselja did not attend a total of 18 per cent of meetings of the committee.

Mr Seselja: I just told everyone the number of meetings.

MR GENTLEMAN: I have just come up with those for you, Mr Seselja. Although this discussion will continue on through tonight’s adjournment, this is not the first report Mr Seselja has done no work on. I have risen in the chamber before and discussed the various times Mr Seselja has been uncooperative in the committee process. There have been times when he has even blamed his staff for not reading draft variations. I say again: stop complaining about the workload and get on with the job.

The other members of the committee have bent over backwards to assist in keeping the committee process bipartisan. The time has come to insist that Mr Seselja commits to the job at hand, work with the committee as a member of this Assembly and, in his words, scrutinise the government. Being an elected representative of the ACT is a job we should be proud of, a job we want to do and a job we work hard in, not a job where we sit back and wait for everyone else to do the work and then whinge about the outcomes. Today I have witnessed the embarrassment Mr Seselja has caused his own party, the concerns of his opposition colleagues at his naivety and his utter lack of respect for the

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