Page 2496 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 17 June 2009

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It is a ridiculous assertion. Perhaps the standing orders will have to be amended to make more specific and more clear what everyone would have thought was a matter of longstanding convention. A longstanding convention is that, when a minister or a member is required to attend by a committee, they attend. If there is a breakdown in such basic courtesies and such basic conventions in this place, it will be very difficult indeed for us to do business. In fact, we will have to come up with all sorts of draconian standing orders that enforce that happening quite directly.

This is the first that I have seen of it. I have not had anyone in this debate bring to my attention another example of it. If it has happened in the past, it is obviously so rare that no-one can remember. It is the first that I am aware of. It is a serious thing and it should not be belittled as being meaningless.

This is a government that has shown itself to have contempt for the Assembly. It did that before; it was able to get away with it when it had a majority. We are moving to a point where it will not be able to get away with it, notwithstanding the fact that we disagree with the ultimate sanction here today. The committee, I believe, will make a decision to condemn these actions by the minister. I think that is right. We will certainly debate the strength of that response. We have put on record our concerns about that.

We as an Assembly simply need to draw a line and say that this is unacceptable, this is not good enough and this will not be tolerated. Certainly, we in the opposition do not tolerate it. We condemn the minister for his actions. We believe he deserves the condemnation of the Assembly. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Non-profit sector

Mr Seselja: Who was it that didn’t want a vote?


Mr Stanhope: Why didn’t you vote against the amendment? Didn’t have any confidence, did you?

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Stanhope, I have already spoken to you about interjections. I have spoken to members about interjections. I would like Ms Porter to be heard in silence.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (4:37): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) supports the Federal Government’s compact with the non profit sector and acknowledges the proactive participation of the ACT Government in the consultation process; and

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