Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 August 2008) . . Page.. 2830 ..
back with various excuses saying, “No, you cannot have it.” So the committee then used a standing order authorised by all of those sitting opposite, by the Labor Party, Mr Deputy Speaker, as a reasonable power for a committee to have.
Under standing order 239 we wrote and asked for that report to be produced. It was a very polite request, but it was a request under the standing orders that the Chief Minister has to comply with. The grounds that were used to deny the request were that it was some sort of public interest disclosure. That was totally spurious. The advice we got was totally irrelevant to the case here. What we should have instead is the document.
Dr Foskey has asked that this document be tabled in this place by the close of business today, and that is a reasonable request. It is a reasonable request for that to occur. What we need to have is the Chief Minister face up to his responsibility and table that document or give it to the public accounts committee, as was requested.
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Minister for Health, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Disability and Community Services, Minister for Women) (11.52): The question before the Assembly relates to the suspension of standing orders. The government is not going to allow all executive time this morning to be taken up with delaying tactics by the opposition, and that is what this is about.
This was a section 246 statement by Dr Foskey around the production of documents flagging other activity that she is going to take in the Assembly this week. There is ample time for discussion of this and for other members’ contributions to this, but this morning the time has come to start to debate some legislation, not to rehash old arguments from Mr Smyth about how hurt he feels that he does not have access to the functional review. That is why the government is not supporting this.
We want to get on with business. We have got 33 bills to deal with over the next three weeks. We are going to be sitting late into the night. We understand that the opposition is going to want to delay at every point in the sitting week. We know that. We have been watching it for the last few sitting weeks. We can see what your motivations are, but the time has come to pass some legislation. That is why we need to get on with this today, and why we are not supporting the motion. That is why we are not giving leave to every opposition member to stand up and whine on about a matter which is already scheduled for further debate this week.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.53): The Deputy Chief Minister does her sort of fishwife imitation. She says, “Now, it is time to get down to business and do government business.” This is a government, Mr Deputy Speaker, who cannot manage their legislative program. This is a government who adjourn early for lunch almost every sitting day, who go home often after the MPI because they have no business. They get to the last sitting weeks in the Legislative Assembly’s calendar and suddenly they have business, and they have business because they have not been able to get their act together for the past seven years. And they want to be re-elected because they suddenly have business.
They want to jam through the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Bill this morning. They do not have the courtesy to talk to the Pharmacy Guild about it, but they want to jam through the legislation. This is why—