Page 265 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 10 December 2008

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going to be hard working. I think it is ironic that, at the first opportunity today to actually get through a program, we squibbed it; we’ve got to bundy off and go home.

It was really interesting to hear all the people, including Ms Burch, talk about how hard we are going to work for the people of the ACT. So I thought it was ironic that, at lunchtime today, during the meeting of the scrutiny of bills committee, Ms Burch, part of the way through the meeting, excused herself and went off. I thought, “Gosh, Ms Burch must be very busy if she couldn’t sit through the first meeting of the scrutiny of bills committee.” This is a very important issue; we are all ingenues and neophytes when it comes to the scrutiny of bills.

I thought it was somewhat discourteous to the adviser to the committee that all of the members could not sit through and listen to his first exposition. But it was particularly galling some time later, when I did manage to sneak out and go to lunch—and I do note that many of the staff of the opposition did not have time to do that—to see Ms Burch dining at the Waldorf. I think it is pretty poor that the Assembly staff, the people who put themselves out, did not have time to go and have lunch, and that the adviser was prepared to sit there through the lunch break, but Ms Burch could find time to have lunch. (Time expired.)

Legislative Assembly—ministerial statements

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability and Housing, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Corrections) (6.10): I thank Ms Hunter for allowing me to go first. I too would like to give the Assembly the ministerial statement that I was prevented from giving before. One of the results of the petulant action by Mrs Dunne was that she denied the shadows in her own team getting a window into what the government intends to do for the next four years. That was a classic piece of good work, I reckon.

It also, however, quite unreasonably denied the same information to the Greens Party. I know Ms Bresnan has responsibility for many more portfolios than I have, and she may have liked to have had the information and to go away and digest it.

Mrs Dunne talks about having the two-hour notice and all this sort of thing. I notice there was no offer for them to have a reciprocal arrangement because that just would not happen. She talked about how everything could be under an embargo. We all remember when Mr Pratt was given some security information under embargo, and then we all of us, who did not get it, read about it in the Canberra Times the next day. Do forgive us for a lack of trust, guys. I notice the three new guys are here—thank you for that—and the others have scurried off like cockroaches.

This petulant dummy-spit cannot go unchallenged. It is just not on. It also shows that Mrs Dunne, who is a former whip, should have known better. There is another process, which is probably a better process, which could be discussed—Ms Gallagher and Ms Hunter might like to have a chat about this possibility—and that is that, when ministerial statements are made, at the conclusion we say, “I move that the Assembly take note of the statement.” That means it can be adjourned and then discussed later in detail after people have had an opportunity to digest it and not for a mere two hours before the event.

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