Page 5677 - Week 15 - Thursday, 10 December 2009

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Mrs Dunne: No, not true.

MS BRESNAN: It is true, Mrs Dunne. As of today, not all parties continue to support this move. Although the Greens do not feel the need for another half hour, we were willing to make the change.

Members interjecting—

MS BRESNAN: Yes, I find that Mrs Dunne’s memory is going on a number of items which she has discussed today. It is somewhat confusing as to why parties are no longer supporting this approach. Maybe we can have a discussion early next year and check what the Secretariat would prefer, as we must recognise the impact that this has on them.

Apart from those issues, the Greens are happy to support the sitting program. I note Mrs Dunne has said that with the additional hours we do not have the same number of question times. I reiterate that we have changed the number of supplementaries so that significantly increases the number of questions members can ask. I also reiterate that it is through the committee process that we can really question not only ministers but also departmental officials. That really is the primary opportunity that we have to dig deeper into issues. I cannot see how the Liberal Party can disagree with that. If they do, I do not think they are considering this issue in a thorough manner; they are just making some political point or point scoring, which we have seen a lot of today, and are not serious about discussing this issue adequately.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (12.24): I was not intending to speak to this until I heard the drivel coming from the Greens. We must remember that the desire to have more committee work and fewer sitting days came from Meredith Hunter, the Greens convenor, but we never see her in committees. The Treasury spokesperson for the Greens did not even bother to turn up to half the estimates meetings, so this advocate of—

Ms Hunter: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I want Mr Hanson to withdraw such an outrageous allegation against me—that I have never been in committees.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): I am sorry, Ms Hunter; there is no point of order.

MR HANSON: Harden up, Meredith. The point here is that the advocate of committee work is the least busy committee attendee, the poorest performer when it comes to committees. For her party to come here—

Ms Hunter: On a point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker: I ask Mr Hanson to withdraw that remark. It is simply untrue.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, I think you should withdraw that.

MR HANSON: What am I actually withdrawing, Mr Assistant Speaker?

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