Page 1963 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 25 June 2008

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

MS MacDONALD: Certainly, Mr Speaker. What I was about to say was that it is irresponsible behaviour—

MR SPEAKER: Ms MacDonald is speaking not only to the amendment but to the motion, Mr Smyth.

MS MacDONALD: It is irresponsible behaviour to have moved this motion of no confidence, because there is no smoking gun here. As the Chief Minister pointed out before, there is no evidence; they have found no evidence. In the two weeks in which we had estimates hearings and then in the follow-up hearing with the Chief Minister, the opposition could not make a case. They could not make a case in the least and they have not managed to make one today.

This planning approval process and development application process have followed the normal process. Of course, ActewAGL themselves have said that the information process could have been better handled initially, and of course it is important that, as members of the Assembly, particularly for the members of Brindabella and Molonglo, we listen to the concerns that are raised by our constituents. I certainly have taken on board everything that has been said to me, and certainly my office has taken all those issues on board and we do not discount those.

But there is a need to weigh up the information that is presented. Just because somebody lives in my electorate and disagrees with the proposal does not mean that I take their side if the evidence is not on their side. I am sorry, but this is going through the normal process. It would be micromanagement in the extreme if this government interfered while the process is still going on.

There is no foundation for this motion and there is certainly no foundation to scale it down and make it a censure motion. I cannot support this motion today.

I listened to the comments that Mr Mulcahy made today. Mr Mulcahy made the point that it is incumbent on the government to use the statutory process. I certainly agree with that. Mr Mulcahy made some very valid and pertinent points. Ms Gallagher also made a pertinent comment about the Chief Minister having this motion moved against him. It is happening. Why is this motion happening? We followed the statutory process. What else are we supposed to do? What else is the government supposed to do?

Mrs Dunne and a few others on the other side have attempted to build up a straw man. Their portrayal of the events that occurred within the estimates process is wrong. Within the cut and thrust of estimates, there are often more competing questions than there is time for everybody to ask questions. To allege that things were shut down to protect the government is just farcical; it did not happen in the least.

I want to finish on another note, about something that I do not believe has been mentioned today. That is about what happened when the Chief Minister and officials came back before estimates on Monday of last week. I want to thank not so much the

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