Page 1736 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 1 April 2009

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We have got the very firm commitment of having a discussion, at which time she will tell us what time we will get the box. Unless you are saying that you will give it to us at 12.30? I did not hear that.

Ms Gallagher: I said you will get the papers, you will get a briefing during the lunch break and I will talk to you about what time—

MR SMYTH: During the lunch break is anytime between 12.30 and 2. We got the boxes in the lunchbreak last time, just before we came down to the chamber, and that is the problem.

Ms Gallagher: I said “well in advance of question time”, if you had listened, and I am sure you will reflect on that answer.

MR SMYTH: No, I will go back and read the Hansard. But again, what is the definition of well in advance of question time? It is not that hard to commit here to 12.30. Why not 12 o’clock? But again, the point I make is: nobody can get up and say what is unreasonable about getting it at 12 o’clock or at 11 o’clock or, indeed, when the press get it.

It is under embargo. We all understand that. Mr Corbell can correct me, but I do not recall anybody ever breaking that embargo. It has been respected by all parties in this place for as long as this place has been functioning. I do not ever recall it being released early.

We will see. I accept there will be a briefing and I accept we will get the budget boxes for members and staffers well in advance of question time. Well in advance of question time, of course, is 11 o’clock or 10 o’clock or 9 o’clock. But I will be surprised. I am happy to be surprised.

Ms Gallagher talked about separation of powers and that we cannot direct. Ms Gallagher, you probably did not participate in this but the man sitting next to you did. Previous Assemblies directed former governments to deliver things, in particular what became known as the Gallop inquiry. You were not part of that and I do not hold you accountable for what people in your party did before you got here. But just be aware that the Assembly has on occasions directed governments to do things.

There is this myth that it cannot happen and somehow it is dreadful. The precedent is established in this place and the precedent was established by the Labor Party and supported by Ms Tucker representing the Greens. I can remember Ms Tucker moving amendments in some of these debates, particularly in, say, the taxi debate, where I was directed to do things. I was directed by the Assembly to do things. So this myth that you cannot do it is again is another—

Ms Gallagher: Maybe you should have taken advice on that, Brendan.

Mr Seselja: Perhaps he had more respect for the Assembly.

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