Page 1917 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 14 May 2013
The fact is that this is a government that is tired; it is a government that does not have an executive program. It is trying to disguise it by shifting papers to this morning rather than doing it in their rightful place, according to standing order 74, which is after question time.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.42): It looks as though no-one from the government side is going to speak. I would just like to back Mr Coe up. There is no courtesy from the government. The government is trying to break from standing orders, trying to change the daily program. If there is a rationale for that, if there is a reason for that, we would have been happy to hear that. I am sure that we would have complied and done what we could to make this place work as effectively and efficiently as it can. But without that reason being put forward, it becomes startlingly obvious that this is just an attempt by the government to make it appear that it has an agenda, while there is none. We have seen repeatedly on Tuesdays, and sometimes on Thursdays, all of the Labor Party members come down and filibuster on matters simply to give the appearance that the government has got an agenda when it has only got, perhaps, one bill on the notice paper.
If the government has no agenda, let us make that very clear. Let us not try and hide from it by changing the daily program. That is an inappropriate way to do business, and it makes a mockery of Katy Gallagher, Andrew Barr and Simon Corbell claiming that they need a larger Assembly when we see tricks like this being played today in this place.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing) (10.43): I will be voting to support the suspension of standing orders to allow the government to bring this business on. It is entirely unclear to me why one would exercise time over this matter. The matters have been presented on the blue. It is quite transparent what is taking place. I know Mr Coe made the observation that if these had been listed under presentation of papers there would have been a shorter paper, but from a transparency point of view there is actually far more information available on the blue than we would have seen if they had been listed in the alternate format. Frankly, I do not think it matters when in the day these things are done, in that it is not forcing other business off the program.
It seems entirely a matter of petulance to me that there is some sense that this could not be done this morning. There is scope for flexibility in the program. I note that last week when we discussed the disallowance of the draft variation, that was done on Wednesday. Normal practice would have dictated that it be done perhaps on Tuesday, but Mr Coe had a preference for doing it on Wednesday, and the Assembly was quite agreeable to that. I think there is recognition that, unless it is precluding another member from doing something they want to do, there is flexibility to move the program around. It seems quite appropriate that we proceed with this business this morning given that there is the space to do it.
Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.