Page 876 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 2 April 2008

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Where are their reform packages? Where are their policies? We are now in April, and in the four months since the leadership change there has been an incredible lack of performance. The Chief Minister came up with this “scarlet pimpernel” line, which I thought was pretty accurate, unfortunately, yesterday. We do not see the visibility of the opposition here, and that is not good for the democratic process. They are still struggling with the internal warfare that goes on, and that will continue on with their preselections. The fact is that, by demonstrating in this place their incapacity to honour agreements, they are showing that they cannot be relied upon.

Dr Foskey made the point that it troubled her. She said to me earlier that she is looking at things in terms of a minority government circumstance after October. In fairness to her, she is trying to look at the performance of the government and the current opposition, but this issue has troubled her—this lack of integrity being shown to her as a crossbencher. I expect it; I am still seeing the sour grapes coming forth. The fact of the matter is that the people of Canberra want to see a viable opposition in this place, and they need to perform and not do things behind the scenes like this. They should be straight up and down and honour agreements that are made here for the good governing of this Assembly.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (4.03): We will not be supporting this motion. The government have made a decision to deny the Liberal Party its fair share of private members’ days; they have made that choice. They have chosen to give two members of the non-executive part of the Assembly one further business day compared with that given to six members. This is a reasonable and rational response. We have no choice. The government has decided to deliberately deny us a reasonable share of private members’ business. They informed us of that at the administration and procedure committee, and we put them on notice. It is unreasonable for the government to act in that way. We should get our fair share of private members’ business, and we will fight to maintain our share. If we need to do it by doing MPIs on Wednesdays, so be it. It would be more reasonable if we went back to the previous arrangements or if some account were taken of the new arrangements.

Mr Corbell: Just look at your history, Zed—1997, Zed.

MR SESELJA: There are six of us. Six out of the 11 non-executive members are Liberals, and we are being denied our share of private members’ business.

Mr Corbell: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000.

MR SESELJA: Well, I was not here in 1997, Mr Corbell.

Mr Hargreaves: You won’t be here in 2008!

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hargreaves!

MR SESELJA: We are being denied our share. Now, I know that there is this love-in between Mr Mulcahy and Dr Foskey. It was not long ago that he was thrown off a committee because apparently he was a bully, but now they are apparently of one

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