Page 3894 - Week 09 - Thursday, 25 August 2011

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There are other issues that we are still clarifying in this bill which I will discuss with the government. I am very pleased though with the engagement we have received so far on this bill. I would also point out that there will be a significant set of regulations with this bill, as Mr Seselja has already pointed out. Those will involve many important issues such as how the training of safety representatives progresses. I expect that we will have further discussions on those regulations as well.

In closing, I reiterate that the Greens are supportive of this bill in principle. However, we do have issues that we wish to pursue further in the detail stage. This is a significant bill. It impacts on a significant area of life—that is, workers and workplaces. Given the Liberal Party’s desire for time to properly prosecute their arguments, the absence of Mrs Dunne and the tight time frames that emerge following the scrutiny committee’s commentary, we will agree to postpone consideration at the detail stage until the next sitting.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.32 to 2 pm.

Questions without notice

Planning—alleged interference

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Economic Development. Minister, prior to the call in of the Giralang development, you received a letter from the former Minister for Land and Property Services which said that if the DA was approved by ACTPLA the government would take action to “review the direct sale of contiguous land to try and limit the size of the supermarket that could be developed there”. Minister, why did the former minister make this threat, and is it your intention to carry out this threat to the development application now that it has been called in by your colleague?

Mr Hargreaves: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

Mr Hargreaves: Mr Speaker, that question is based on speculation, asking the minister to interpret the motives of a person in the past. He could not be expected to do so. I think that question is out of order.

Mr Smyth: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, it is not speculation. The quote is taken from a letter that one can therefore assume is the government policy. We are simply asking whether the policy is still in place. It is entirely appropriate.

Mr Hargreaves: Still on the point of order, actually it does not follow. Just because a minister says something it does not necessarily follow that it is government policy. And in this particular case what the question was about was the motives of a former minister in making a statement. To ask a current minister about the motives of a former minister is clearly out of order.

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