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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 April 2008) . . Page.. 1126 ..


MR HARGREAVES: Mr Smyth tries his best to use parliamentary process to squirm out from underneath the carpet of accountability. How is this, Mr Speaker? Those opposite say, “You’ve been naughty because you’ve changed something on this paper and you did something without telling us.” How was I to know the subject of the legislation Mr Pratt is tabling tomorrow, presenting tomorrow—not debated tomorrow, as he insinuated in his speech? No, what he was going to do was present the legislation, milk that cow for everything he could and bring it on later.

In the history of government business meetings in this Assembly, those opposite have never given the manager of government business the courtesy—not once have they given him the courtesy—of telling him the content of their legislation or motions coming forward. Where is this so-called courtesy that the former and recently sacked Deputy Leader of the Opposition has to talk about? Where is that courtesy? It never existed.

In every single meeting, the manager of government business says, “What are you going to present to the Assembly in this sitting week?” What do they tell him? “We haven’t decided yet. Sorry, we can’t tell you just yet?” There is any number of mumbled excuses. Did those opposite tell the manager of government business what legislation was going to be presented tomorrow morning? Short answer: no. What happens? They squeal, Mr Speaker. They squeal like recently opened piggy banks. They squeal because they say I have usurped them.

Mrs Burke: It is just your underhandedness. You are underhanded.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I seek your protection.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Members of the opposition will cease interjecting, but it might help, Mr Hargreaves, if you direct your comments through me and wave your finger at me, not them.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I ask that you get Mrs Burke to withdraw the accusation of my being underhanded.

Mrs Burke: It wasn’t open, was it? It wasn’t unparliamentary.

MR SPEAKER: I think—

MR HARGREAVES: All right, let the record show that there is no protection for that kind of abuse. They might as well go for them. Now they have licence to go for them. Look at them squealing. Look at this—a cacophony of cow bells.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: is that a reflection on the decision of the Speaker—

MR SPEAKER: I will look after myself. It will be okay. Mr Hargreaves, I think it is a debating point in an adult chamber.

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