Page 1979 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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and I understand the courts are different, they’re not departments of the Government, but it is, you know, it is a pretty routine ask that you look at efficiencies and make sure you’re doing what you can with the resources available before you inject more funds in.

There will be a limited cost to appointing a sixth minister, but it is a squib compared to the initiative being put forward, which is calling on up to doubling the size of the Assembly. So we need to ensure, as the Chief Minister says, that we are doing everything within the resources we have got, or doing it as effectively and efficiently as we can to resolve the issues that she faces as the Chief Minister, just as the courts face in the delays that they have and the calls from the court for an additional member.

There has been some resistance from the government to this. I note that there is a significant amount of sensitivity from the government benches when this matter is raised. But I would like to point out that the government had five Labor members as ministers. Essentially the Chief Minister sold out at the election by saying, “I’m going to remove one of my own members from the ministry in order to make way for a Green to secure government.” That is what happened. She was quite prepared to sack one of her own people, sack a Labor member, in order to get him on the frontbench. I commend the fact that Mr Seselja, as the Leader of the Opposition, said he would not do that.

Mr Rattenbury often, when I raise this issue about a sixth minister, is quick to attack me, to essentially throw jibes at me. The reality is—this is why he is so sensitive about this—that the price for him to get government, amongst other things in terms of the policy arena, was to demand to be a minister. The price was paid by a Labor member—in this case, Dr Bourke. But what I am offering is an opportunity here for the government to reinstate one of its own members as a minister.

I find it highly ironic, Madam Speaker, that it is a Liberal Leader of the Opposition that is providing the opportunity for the Labor Chief Minister to actually reappoint one of her own members as a minister, having recently essentially dumped them in order to secure government. Why will she not do that? Why did she not, on the first sitting day in this place after having to make room in her ministry to secure government by putting a Green in there, knowing that Mr Seselja and the Liberal opposition were going to support this, come into this place and say, “Right, let’s do this right now”?

That really is a question that the Chief Minister needs to answer, because the committee excuse is nonsense. When she is putting two members on every committee, she cannot then say, “We’ve got too many members on committees.” We have got a path out of that. She could have one member on each committee. We can halve the government workload on committees overnight.

What is the reason? I struggle to find one. We have got Dr Bourke, who has been a minister in this place before. We have got Mr Gentleman, who is in his second term. Andrew Barr came in here, straight into the ministry. I do not think Katy Gallagher was a backbencher for long. We have got other members who have come in straightaway. Mary Porter is on her third or fourth term. She has been here for a

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