Page 246 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012

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I wish Tandem and all of their supporters all the best for the upcoming spruce-up. I congratulate Tandem again for all the hard work they continue to do in the community and I look forward to building a strong relationship with them over the coming term.

Legislative Assembly business

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (6.52): I would like to make a few brief comments about the conduct of tonight’s debate that was curtailed. I must say that I was severely disappointed. There was a motion that we all essentially agreed on in this place. There were some amendments that were going to be discussed. But it was a worthy motion discussing preventative health—something that is important to our community. There was some important debate to be had, particularly with the amendments, in terms of the requirement for a task force and a strategy. There remains some element of confusion about that.

I think it highlighted the very poor decision by the government and Mr Rattenbury to decide that we would essentially muzzle debate on a Wednesday, against the standing tradition of this place throughout the last Assembly, which was that on a Wednesday night we would sit late, until all matters of business had been concluded. Sometimes that was done by seven; sometimes it was done by 9.30. But for this government to make the decision that they were going to adjourn debate in the middle of one of their own member’s motions, to prevent a member of the opposition from raising a very important motion, I think again highlights the arrogance and hubris with which this government is operating.

We have seen members of this government, most notably the Chief Minister and Minister Burch, sit there pointing out forefingers and saying “four more years, four more years” in a really arrogant, hubristic, disgraceful way—

Mr Doszpot: “Crass”, I thought was a better word.

MR HANSON: “Crass” is a good word, Mr Doszpot. I think that if the community saw the way that this government was carrying on—and in particular, for those members who did not vote for this government, which is carrying on in its arrogant fashion, to see that it is cutting debate for their own members—the community would be egregiously disappointed in what has happened. I want that noted.

I think that we need to have late sittings on a Wednesday, because we have already given ourselves longer lunches and we are having fewer sittings. This Assembly, through its majority of the government and the Greens, is curtailing debate. Again, we are seeing a lack on the part of this government with the correlation between their rhetoric about open, accountable government and being open to scrutiny, and the reality, which is that at every step they have done everything they can to muzzle debate and to reduce scrutiny.

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