Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 August 2008) . . Page.. 3729 ..
before the election, and their presentation will tie us up until lunch-time. One notes that they provide a chance for the Liberals to promote the themes they are taking to the election—not that that is anything that is necessarily against them.
I have not noticed the Liberals being very cooperative with, for instance, the crossbenchers or with the rest of the Assembly in regard to MPIs. It has been a constant call for us. In a sense, while the MPI is a wonderful thing, we are getting to the point where, because we cannot debate MPIs, they are a little bit of a luxury, I believe, in the last few sitting weeks. Of course, the Liberals say they will do them and we all jump in because we do not want to talk about graffiti and so on forever.
I also believe it is unfair to tie up private members’ day with Liberal business, much of which, and it is there on the agenda, is just to chastise the government again—we have heard it all before—and draw attention to the opposition. I note that Mr Seselja’s condemnatory motion is given precedence over what I feel is a much more important piece of business—Mrs Dunne’s Government Transparency Legislation Amendment Bill. I feel that that has constantly been marginalised. It has been on the paper for a while. I do not know how Mrs Dunne goes with respect to arguing in the party room, but she clearly has not had any success. If the Liberals were really serious about getting anything done, that would have been the first bit of business, not Mr Seselja’s motion.
Private members’ business day is for all private members, not just the Liberals. In this Assembly private members do get the opportunity to present more business than in most other parliaments. I would not like to think that it was a privilege; it is probably a historical thing. But there is the danger of losing it if there is another majority government. Therefore, we need to treat it with respect and use it for private members’ business, not private members’ politicking.
I do not want to talk too much; time is short and there is a lot to do. I wish that everyone felt that way. In regard to our anti-SLAPP bill, I have been really concerned. There was a legal affairs committee inquiry into it. It came up with a strong report which recommended that the legislation go through. It presented another model, which I tabled again this year, so we will actually be discussing a better model. My office and I have been in discussion with Mr Corbell and his office. I thank the government for bringing that on, because it would be a first for the ACT. It is a thoroughly worked, thoroughly consulted on, necessary and useful bit of legislation. I hope that the Liberals have been working in that way with the government on, for instance, the transparency legislation that is on the paper.
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.42): I will deal first with Dr Foskey’s comments. The lecturing tone that we get from Dr Foskey from time to time is quite astounding. The idea that the government would work with us to make the information flow from them more accessible is quite laughable. We have seen their attitude to it, which is why we consistently need to extract information from them in various ways, and with varying degrees of success, of course, with a majority government.
Today’s move to suspend standing orders by Mr Corbell is another clear example of why we cannot afford another Labor government. This is a Labor Party that wants to