Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 6 May 2008) . . Page.. 1402 ..
housing, energy efficiency ratings, the East Lake project, the Molonglo project, sustainable transport, land development and land release, water and energy efficiency and ACTION buses, and find that there are no major issues. For many years the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment has been underfunded. She now has extended tasks. Her legislation has not been updated to reflect that. And this chairman of the planning and environment committee has no major issues?
We are seeing here today the culmination of the last 3½ years of abuse of the committee process, which is also manifest in the estimates process, where the Labor backbench, which has control over the numbers on these committees, basically rubberstamps everything that the Labor executive does. It is not good enough for members of the executive such as Mr Corbell to stand up here and say, “Oh well, it happens in the federal parliament.” We should be at the forefront of open and accountable government.
Mr Stanhope was elected Chief Minister on a program of open and accountable government. What we have here is closed government—government which is not even accountable to its own backbench. Its own backbench is not interested enough in keeping its executive accountable. That is why people in the ACT need to be afraid of majority government, especially majority Labor government. Majority Labor governments are arrogant and say, “We will push it through and do what we like to the people of the ACT, and damn the consequences.”
This report today is a testament to how low the committee process in the ACT has become. It will be a theme that I will be pursuing with considerable rigour in the closing months of this Assembly.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (10.42): I would like to respond to the comments made by the opposition member of this committee on a report to which the member who has just spoken is a party. It is a majority consensus report; there is no dissent. Mrs Dunne is a signatory to this report; it is her report. It is a majority report, arrived at by consensus. Everything that Mrs Dunne has just said is directed, of course, at herself.
To the extent that Mrs Dunne has criticised this committee, and has most rigorously criticised this report, she has criticised herself. She claims that, since she only joined the committee in February, three months was not enough time to allow her to get to the detail, so she criticises her predecessor on the committee. And who was her predecessor? The Leader of the Opposition. So despite comprising one-third of the committee membership, despite it being a majority report, despite the outcomes of this particular committee report, and despite the content of this report being supported by the Liberal Party, Mrs Dunne stands here and says what she said. How two-faced is that? How hypocritical is that? The Liberal Party authors of this report are Mrs Dunne and Mr Seselja.
You can ask: what is Mrs Dunne’s agenda here? What point is she seeking to make? She said: “Look, I’m only a recent arrival to this particular inquiry. I’ve only been on