Page 2830 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 24 June 2009

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We see this constant attempt by the Greens to water things down. You know that an amendment holding the government to account is not as effective as it should be when the Chief Minister agrees with it. When the Chief Minister is so comfortable with an amendment, you have got to step back and question whether it is actually going to achieve what it is meant to achieve.

We have a Chief Minister who has put his stake in the ground on the Auditor-General. He has gone after her. Let us make no mistake about it. He can try and weasel out of it now, but he has gone after her. He has said, “Well, if you are going to be critical of us, we will look very, very closely at your funding.” That is the message he gave to the Auditor-General, and it is up to us as an Assembly to stand up and say that that is unacceptable.

The fact that this amendment from the Greens is so wholeheartedly supported by the Chief Minister suggests that it is an amendment, if it goes through as an amended motion, that he is exceedingly comfortable with and that he will continue along his merry way in running down the resources of the Auditor-General, attacking the Auditor-General and launching veiled threats against the Auditor-General. All that this amendment does is to give him the imprimatur to do so. It once again waters it down to the extent that he is comfortable with it.

Jon Stanhope supports wholeheartedly this amendment, and that is a very good reason not to support it. We are trying to hold him to account for his inappropriate statements and inappropriate actions in relation to the Auditor-General. He is a minister who has form on attacking independent officers. He has done this before. He did it to the coroner, he has done it again to the Auditor-General and it is up to us to stand up. We are prepared to do it. The motion has not been argued against by the Greens at all. They simply want to water it down to the extent that the Chief Minister agrees with it. We will not be supporting the amendment. I commend the original motion to the Assembly.

Question put:

That Ms Le Couteur’s amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 9

Noes 5

Mr Barr

Ms Hunter

Mr Coe

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mrs Dunne

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Mr Hanson

Mr Corbell

Mr Stanhope

Mr Seselja

Ms Gallagher

Mr Smyth

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Question put:

That Mr Seselja’s motion, as amended, be agreed to.

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