Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 15 Hansard (Thursday, 10 December 2009) . . Page.. 5672 ..
We do believe that this is an important motion but we also have some other important business on the agenda today. I will correct Mrs Dunne. Workers compensation is going ahead. It is not one of the matters that have been taken off today.
Another important matter that is very close to the Greens’ heart is the civil unions bill, and we believe this does need to get through today. There needs to be some certainty on this matter out there. I do wonder whether this is more a tactic from the Liberals about not getting to that item of business, because we know their views on civil unions. We know that they do not believe in equality in this area, and that is probably more going to the heart of the matter, rather than what you have put forward which is your views about adjournment for Christmas drinks.
I would just say, to finish, that we are in accord with where you are going here, Mrs Dunne, but it is not going to be the end of the world if we do not get to it today. We very much support it coming back in February and we look forward to debating the matter then.
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: I remind members that the time limit for the debate on the suspension of standing orders is 15 minutes. I think you have got a matter of minutes, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (12.06): There you go. Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. It is interesting that the Greens are concerned but not concerned enough about how committees are treated. It is an argument we hear so often. We will watch and see. “We are concerned but we are not really concerned.” It is interesting that the real objective of this is to get the government out of here in time for their media drinks.
The point has been made that things are taken off the agenda. Why are we taking things off the agenda—items that the government, for instance, thought were serious enough to list this morning but have now taken off?
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Order, members! Mr Smyth has the floor.
Mrs Dunne: You don’t care.
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: I warn you, Mrs Dunne.
MR SMYTH: The problem is that at least two of the parties in this place do not have a good work ethic in regard to staying back and doing the work. If it is lack of time that people are suggesting and that there are more important things to get to on the notice paper, stay tonight. It is very easy. We can have a dinner break from six to 7.30, we can come back and do this supposedly important business.
All members have different views on the level of importance of things on the notice paper. The simple answer is: come back and do your job. Stay back once. Have a late sitting once. The Assembly used to have a lot of late sittings. I will not foreshadow the debate that is coming on in regard to the calendar and potential changes to the