Page 263 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 10 December 2008

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Mr Smyth: Well, you could have sought leave.

MR CORBELL: I hear Mr Smyth interject that I could have sought leave. Well, I did seek leave, and Mrs Dunne refused it. So I find it very interesting that they do not even know what they are doing amongst themselves.

It was an important statement that I hoped to make. It outlined a range of initiatives across the portfolio—the law reform agenda, issues around reform of legislation, issues around implementation of public safety initiatives, and the government’s commitment to honour its election promises in a whole range of areas, notably, but not exclusively, in terms of moving to a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week police presence at the Gungahlin police station. Of course, in relation to Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water, there were key initiatives around the implementation of the feed-in tariff, solar power plant, greenhouse gas emission targets, and a whole range of other measures that I would have thought would have been of interest to members in this place.

Of course, it is a sweet irony that the opposition criticised this government for withholding or not providing information to this Assembly, but when ministers try to do just that, through a ministerial statement, they are refused the opportunity to do so by the Liberal Party. I think they need to adopt a consistent approach.

In relation to the objection from the Liberal Party when it comes to the provision of ministerial statements and their view that ministers should provide copies of statements in advance of leave being sought, I outlined the government’s position on that yesterday, but I reiterate that our view is that we will endeavour to provide details around the subject matter of ministerial statements so that the relevant shadow minister is at least aware that the minister is going to be talking about X or Y particular matter. But to provide the full details, sentence and word, of the statement is, we believe, unreasonable.

Further, I note the claim, “Well, this occurs in the federal parliament.” If the Liberal Party are going to adopt that approach, perhaps they also want to adopt some other approaches adopted in the federal parliament, such as the amount of time available for private members’ business in the House of Representatives in the federal parliament. They pick and choose, of course, Mr Speaker.

That is a disappointment to the government, but we will endeavour to make ministerial statements when we believe it is necessary and important for the Assembly to be aware of proposed actions and directions of the government. I can only hope that the Liberal Party will see fit to cease their churlish approach on this matter and simply grant leave in the same way that leave is granted for a range of other matters in this place on a routine basis. I will now table a copy of the ministerial statement that I wanted to make today but was denied leave by the Liberal Party to do so. I present the following paper:

Ministerial statement—Portfolio responsibilities—Mr Corbell.

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