Page 4194 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

certain matter.” Then we can decide whether or not it is appropriate to grant leave. But the fact is that we have no idea what Mr Hanson wants to talk about. I think it is a pretty low threshold in this place for members just to stand up and say, “I seek leave to talk about some undefined matter,” when we do not know anything about it and then allow them unlimited time to talk about it.

Just remember, Mr Speaker, that yesterday I stood up in this place and sought leave to explain why the government was taking a particular approach in relation to two recommendations of the estimates committee in its report. Leave was not granted by those opposite, so I had to table the statement that I was going to read. They cannot have it both ways. They cannot say, “Well, the government’s not entitled to explain what approach it is taking in relation to matters,” and then be allowed to stand up and talk at length with no time limit as to what it is they are concerned about.

Mr Speaker, until the same rules apply to both sides—until both the government and the opposition and other members are required to give some notice about what it is they want to talk about—the government is not going to accept that leave should be granted. We do not know what it is that Mr Hanson wants to talk about. He is going to be given unlimited time to talk about it, if he is granted leave. If he believes this is important, he should come to the other parties in this place, tell us what it is he thinks is so important that he needs leave and give us a heads up. Then we will be able to decide whether or not in advance we will agree to the granting of leave.

This is about trying to be consistent across all members in this place. Ministers are being asked repeatedly to give advance notice of statements and other matters in this place. Other members are not being held to the same level of rigour. That is the issue of concern to the government. That is why we are not prepared to grant leave and that is why we have not agreed to the suspension of standing orders.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (3.11): The reason that it seems to be denied by the government at this stage is some sort of tit for tat rather than any substantive reason not to grant leave. I did explain when I got up to speak that it was about the recommendations arising from the estimates report. I have sought advice from the Clerk regarding this matter, because when the government fails to comply with recommendations arising from the estimates report, or any other report, and it fails to provide to the Assembly information it has said it is providing, there is no standing order under which I can actually then ask it to do so, as we have just seen from Mr Coe and Mr Doszpot under 118A.

It is a simple matter of rising to make a brief statement to highlight the fact that there are matters outstanding, based on the Clerk’s advice that I have received that this was the appropriate course of action to proceed with. I have followed that advice. It was a very simple matter to highlight to the government that there are a couple of matters outstanding, similar to the processes followed after question time regarding outstanding questions on the notice paper. I think it would be a pretty reasonable thing to do. It would take me literally 20 seconds to highlight the matters that are outstanding from the estimates report.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (3.12): This is all about the brouhaha that occurred in the last day or so about getting leave. There have been some pretty ugly

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video