Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 December 2008) . . Page.. 267 ..
At the same time, we need to be looking at what are the reasons for making a ministerial statement. Mr Hargreaves has just told us that it is to lay out, I guess, the plan, the blueprint, for what is going to be happening in the Assembly under different portfolio responsibilities. I think this information is really important to have. I think many of us would have quite liked to hear each minister’s vision of the next four years, what plans and ideas they have, and a bit of an update of where those portfolios are up to are after the caretaker period, the election and so on.
I guess what we would like to see, though, is that the purpose of a ministerial statement is very much respected and that ministerial statements are used for that purpose and not for campaigning-type speeches. And there was a little bit of that that went on yesterday. We in the Greens are all new to this Assembly and what astounded us was the responses and how much time that took up yesterday. Many of us have reflected on our first day in the Assembly. We felt that there were many, many hours that were wasted when they could have been spent on productive business of this Assembly. So I guess I am just sharing with you a reflection after the first 48 hours but particularly that first day.
We would very much like to explore this issue. We very much want to look at what the practice at Parliament House is. We do need to deal with issues of trust, issues of embargo and so on, issues of the purpose of ministerial statements and, I guess, how that is responded to. Generally we would like to see, in this new spirit of cooperation, as I have heard it said many, many times today, that we do use our time effectively. We are very much aware of our responsibility as elected members of this Assembly and to be able to get efficiently through the business will be very much something that we will strive for.
MS BURCH (Brindabella) (6.18): I have a very brief statement in response to Mrs Dunne’s quite irrational statements questioning my hard work in my first sitting. Mrs Dunne made comment that I left a committee meeting early. I want it on record that Mrs Dunne was indeed late—a few minutes early one end, a few minutes late at the beginning. Mrs Dunne also then made comment that she caught me having lunch. I thought that was what the lunch break was indeed for. For her to see me, she also must have been strolling past the Waldorf on her way to a good feed. So I ate lunch at lunch. Early, late—I think the argument that she put forward today can be mirrored back because she is guilty of the same.
Legislative Assembly—ministerial statements
MR COE (Ginninderra) (6.19): I rise to talk about the time that we spend in this Assembly and the time that we do not spend in this Assembly. Next year we plan to meet for 13 measly weeks. We get paid by the people of Canberra to make decisions in this place, to discuss decisions in this place and to go and get on with the job. What we have here is a number of weeks in a full calendar year which is comparable to the number of weeks in an election year.