Page 2603 - Week 07 - Thursday, 18 June 2009

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Motion (by Mr Stanhope) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Legislative Assembly—members’ behaviour

Estimates 2009-2010—Select Committee

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.07): I would like to take some time in the adjournment debate to contemplate, but not reflect on, some of the issues that have come before us in the week. We have seen some low points during this week, and I think the people of the ACT are not getting particularly good service, especially from the government. We saw the particular low point from the manager of government business when he moved dissent from the Speaker’s ruling because the Speaker had ruled that he had made no ruling from which he could dissent. It was a foolish and ludicrous situation and a huge time waster.

It was interesting to note, of course, that the Chief Minister bemoaned that, because of the time wasting by the manager of government business, we did not get on to any executive business during all of Tuesday. There was so much executive business, of course, that despite the fact that all of Tuesday’s business had been brought forward to today, we are going to adjourn before half past four.

The Chief Minister’s low point, I think, was his endorsement of the behaviour of his minister who refused to answer the summons of the chairman of the estimates committee, and he went so far as to say that if the situation arose again he would encourage him to do it again. I thought that it was a pretty low point and showed a lack of collegiality for ACT Labor to fail to vote on the censure motion. They could not bring themselves to come downstairs and vote in support of their own colleague. That showed, as I said, a complete lack of collegiality, and it highlighted the real rift between the left and the far left in the Labor Party.

I thought it was unfortunate that the Greens’ approach on Calvary hospital was that they should bring forward a motion that called for a survey on users’ requirements as a substitute for consultation. I think it shows that the Greens have already made up their minds. In fact, Ms Bresnan said that they had already made up their minds about the sale of Calvary hospital, that they were in favour of public services being provided by public ownership and that that was the end of it. At the same time, there has been considerable discussion about extending consultation on the building of a road. Now, I am in favour of consultation, but I think we should have it the same all the way along. If it is important to have consultation on the building of a road, it is equally as important to have consultation on the possible sale of Calvary hospital.

But the absolute low point, I think, came up with the dissenting and additional comments on the appropriation bill from Ms Burch and her performance during the estimates in the times that I was there. I was not there all the time, but I did spend a long time in the estimates process and I have spent a very long time in estimates over

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