Page 2017 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 25 June 2008

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orders, that the government needed its majority to suspend. How amazing was that? Its acts of arrogance know no bounds, it would seem.

The opposition have never used pairs as a bargaining tool—ever. Unfortunately, despite our goodwill, it is just not being reciprocated by the government. I wish to therefore advise that, as from tonight, excepting those pairs already agreed, all bets are off now. The government can blame the lazy and undisciplined work ethic of their whip, Ms MacDonald. We will consider future pairs on their merit and we will agree or disagree on our terms.

Legislative Assembly—pairs

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.34): It says a lot about Mrs Burke’s ability to negotiate general business in this place that she has to resort to the use of this chamber to raise issues that she cannot seem to communicate in any other way. In the case of every other government whip that I have dealt with and every other opposition whip that I have dealt with, and I have dealt with a number in my time in this place, I have had absolutely no difficulty in having a commonsense conversation with them and reaching an agreement about what we are going to do—even with Harold Hird, who was not exactly one of the great movers and shakers of this place, but who was a good local member and a sensible man. When Harold was government whip, it was very easy to have a negotiation with him.

Mrs Burke: You are not talking to Ms MacDonald; that is all I can say. She does not know what is going on.

MR CORBELL: Again, Mrs Burke raises all these horrible things. She cannot seem to manage face-to-face communication with anyone else so she has to hurl abuse across the chamber as the only way of getting these matters done. I would only make the following observation. The government is committed to getting its legislative program passed. The opposition have delayed this place for over a week. They have now taken up close to six hours of sitting today to debate their motion. Then they have the gall to complain that the government wants to get on with some of its program. God forbid: the government actually bringing forward its program! The government made it quite clear that we were bringing forward the program, and we did so.

Mrs Burke: You should tell Ms MacDonald to articulate better then.

MR CORBELL: I have sat in government business meetings with Mrs Burke and then Mrs Dunne, and then Mrs Burke and then Mrs Dunne, and then Mr Smyth and then Mrs Burke, but on every single occasion I have asked them, whenever we have—

Mrs Burke: How many ministries have you—

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mrs Burke!

MR CORBELL: I have asked them—

Mr Pratt: We are multiskilled.

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