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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 April 2008) . . Page.. 1123 ..

But the issue is: what should be the extent of the legislation? What should be the thresholds, if any, of the application of testing for levels of prohibited substances in people’s blood?

Mr Pratt: Making excuses.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, cease interjecting.

MR CORBELL: The difficulty that the Liberal Party have is that they cannot deal with a more complex argument. The difficulty that the Liberal Party have is that they are very happy to take a gung-ho approach but they are not prepared to engage in a more complex debate. (Time expired.)

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (4.20): The difficulty the government clearly has is saying sorry and meaning it. Today I stand up here as opposition whip to say that we granted leave on the basis that this ministerial statement was going to be about the Gungahlin Drive extension. But obviously what we have got is a churlish move by the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services to pre-empt a very serious debate tomorrow—one that my colleague Mr Pratt talked about in 2005, and he tabled legislation then. The government have had three years. They have been put on notice for three years. We have seen nothing but indecision over the last three years. They have been caught napping—absolutely caught napping on this matter. They have been shown up.

At the heart of it all are embarrassment and a community that they know they are not listening to. Mr Pratt has been listening to his community for 20 months or more. We talk about consultation—we do. Mr Corbell stands up there and waffles on for about eight minutes or whatever. I would tell Mr Corbell that we know. We have dealt with state authorities, the NRMA, community groups and the police for 20 months.

The Minister for Territory and Municipal Services stands up today without a by-your-leave, not having the grace to let this place know what he is doing, after advising us that he was going to talk about the GDE. Let me just say this: even the government whip did not know what Mr Hargreaves was doing. The government whip reportedly told me that the last thing she was aware of was that the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services would be talking about the GDE today. Has he sprung the surprise on all of you? Interesting. There was no advice given to the opposition or the crossbench on this matter, I understand. Nobody was advised what the territory and municipal services minister was going to do today. It is arrogant and shows scant regard for the processes that we hold high in this place.

The draft program always keeps the word “draft”. I concede that the government can change their mind at a moment’s notice. In their arrogance, they are doing that more and more, as we see.

Mr Corbell: It’s not a formal document.

MRS BURKE: I have just acknowledged that. Didn’t you hear me? What didn’t you get, Mr Corbell? What didn’t you get about “I did say it was draft”?

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