Page 4837 - Week 11 - Thursday, 21 October 2010
Mr Hanson: Well, it needs to be addressed now, doesn’t it?
MS BRESNAN: Well, I was not aware that that did occur. And I actually am a bit confused now as to whether we are speaking about Mr Barr, who did not give a copy of his statement to Mr Doszpot, or Ms Burch, who did not give a copy to—
Mrs Dunne: That’s right: both.
MS BRESNAN: Anyway, I did receive a copy of the statement. I do think that is a problem if it was not given to the Canberra Liberals.
Just while we are on this—I know it is not relevant to this particular topic—there are issues that have come up in general about the way business is being conducted in the chamber at the moment. We have had instances where amendments to motions are not being circulated and also are not being circulated to members who have actually moved the motions. I think there are some overall issues about the way business is being conducted in the Assembly at the moment and not just with ministerial statements. That is quite a big problem if they are not being sent to the respective members, but if people are not being informed about particular amendments or motions, that sort of practice is an issue as well. We probably have an overall issue with the way business is being conducted, and I did actually want to make that point.
We will grant leave on this occasion. I do not think we should be punishing a particular minister because someone else has not circulated information or because of a past situation that has occurred. But I think we need to have an overall discussion about the way business is being conducted at present in the Assembly. We will be granting leave on this occasion, but I think this is an issue which we have to discuss further to make sure we do not have these sorts of debates in the chamber in the future.
MR HANSON (Molonglo) (10.52): I will speak briefly, Mr Speaker. The point is that the government are repeat offenders on this issue. We have tried to make the point here in the Assembly before. We have made the point to the Greens. Ms Burch is a repeat offender on this, and this point was made on Tuesday by Mrs Dunne, where she had actually changed her speech. There is a sort of tricky game going on about the difference between a ministerial statement and a statement by a minister to try and avoid what has been a convention that was agreed by all members in this place.
The point is that it is not unreasonable for the opposition and for the Greens to expect a copy of the speech that is to be made two hours prior to that speech being made. I do not think that that is an unreasonable request. Indeed, the government and the Greens have both agreed to that. What we are actually finding out today is that the Greens are getting copies of these ministerial statements or statements by a minister, whatever they are, but the Liberal Party is not.
Now, the Greens say, “Let’s look at this behind closed doors. Let’s take this away.” But this is the place where we adhere to the rules, where we enforce the rules. If there are mistakes made then I think that the Liberals and the Greens and the government understand that. But this is not a simple issue of a mistake. This is a continued and