Page 2183 - Week 06 - Thursday, 26 June 2008

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Proposed expenditure—part 1.11—Department of Territory and Municipal Services—$306,295,000 (net cost of outputs), $172,297,000 (capital injection), $1,762,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $480,354,000

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell) adjourned to the next sitting.


Motion (by Mr Corbell) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Legislative Assembly—pairs

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11:28): I will just speak briefly to put on the record my concern over the comments made by Ms MacDonald in this place last night where she seemed to be telling us—this is certainly our understanding of what happened—that the Labor Party last night deliberately reneged on a pair arrangement so that they could get the sufficient numbers to suspend standing orders.

And that is exactly what happened. We were told that there was a pair in operation, yet the government had all its members in the chamber for the vote to suspend standing orders. Ms MacDonald actually said in this place, “Well, you know, we needed the numbers.” So what we have is a situation where a pair has been agreed to by the government and it has not been honoured.

That takes us to new territory. Certainly in my time in this place we have not had that happen. We have had times when we have had argy-bargy over whether pairs would be granted, but certainly—

Mr Corbell: And it is such a lengthy period of time that you have been in this place.

MR SESELJA: However long I have been here—this sets a dangerous precedent, a very dangerous precedent.

Mr Corbell: Yes, the last 10 years.

MR SESELJA: Mr Corbell interjects. This piece of brilliant strategy by Ms MacDonald and Mr Corbell of reneging on a pair really leaves them very vulnerable. We now have a situation where we cannot trust the pair arrangements at all. We will have to sit down and work out whether or not pairs, other than those for very serious reasons—

Ms MacDonald: You had better send somebody with more intelligence to the negotiations then.

MR SESELJA: You reneged on a pair. That is what happened.

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