Page 1961 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 25 June 2008

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Chief Minister, members of the government and Actew to clarify the points raised, which they all dutifully did. But was that enough? Clearly not.

Mr Seselja has now moved this motion, this stunt, which we are debating here today, wasting valuable Assembly time by trying desperately to gain some political ground on an issue where there is none to be gained. So where does the opposition stand on this issue? Right now, the public are a little confused.

Much of today’s debate has focused on process, and I would like to talk a little bit about the planning process—one that Mr Seselja should be well aware of, having sat on the planning and environment committee for some 3½ years. Earlier, the Chief Minister commented on the Leader of the Opposition’s lack of understanding of the planning system. The planning system is, of course, designed to remain at arm’s length from executive government. Mr Speaker, why doesn’t Mr Seselja understand this process? One would imagine that, after almost four years on the P and E committee, he would pick up that knowledge. But, of course, he did have trouble attending some of the meetings. If my memory serves me correctly, he missed seven meetings in one of the years.

MR SPEAKER: Come back to the subject matter of the question.

MR GENTLEMAN: He got most upset about not being there for reports.

MR SPEAKER: Come back to the subject matter of the question.

MR GENTLEMAN: The Hansard reflects that. This is perhaps part of the reason why Mr Seselja does not understand the planning process, or perhaps he does not understand the process because he is too lazy to study the planning system. He is too lazy to attend the P and E committee meetings; he is too lazy to stay back for debates in the chamber. Members will recall that last May we sat until 2.00 am while Mr Seselja went home at five the day before. He had his feet up, perhaps, in Macarthur. I am happy to raise the question: what has he been doing for the last eight days?

Much of today’s debate has focused on process and on the performance of senior public servants. It has focused on the potential sites that might be available for a large-scale project such as this. It has focused on what dates appeared on what documents, and it has focused on the FOI process—one which I still do not think the opposition understands. It has focused on many things, but we need to come back to the reason why this place has stood empty for the last eight days.

Mr Pratt: Because the Chief Minister stuffed up.

MR SPEAKER: I warn you, Mr Pratt.

MR GENTLEMAN: The opposition has tortured itself over the last eight days doing nothing but poring over documents, trying to find some elusive smoking gun. Mr Speaker, there is no smoking gun.

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