Page 2192 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Mr Rattenbury to have an allocation for the same amount of time as the Leader of the Opposition. This was based on discussions that I have had with Minister Rattenbury about his desire to speak only once as a crossbench member in the debate on the Appropriation Bill. I understand that was put to the opposition, and the opposition indicated that they wanted to see less time awarded to Minister Rattenbury in his role as a crossbench member, so the motion does not specify that.
We understand that we need to get this motion through today with an absolute majority, but I honestly do not see why the Assembly needs to wrap itself up in knots about whether or not someone gets five more minutes to speak at the in-principle stage.
Mr Seselja: Twenty more minutes.
MS GALLAGHER: Minister Rattenbury has indicated to me that he would like to speak for about 20 minutes, so we are arguing about five minutes here. Those great freedom-of-speechers over there are trying to constrain that ability at the in-principle stage of the Appropriation Bill.
The motion, as it stands, will allow the Leader of the Opposition the same amount of time as the Treasurer. I think the Assembly could grant Minister Rattenbury, in his role as a crossbench member, an allocation of 20 minutes to speak on the Appropriation Bill.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.09): For the benefit of members of the opposition, I should clarify my position on this. I think it has been practice, certainly in the last Assembly, that the parliamentary leader of the Greens at that time was given an equal allocation. Given the changed circumstances in—
Opposition members interjecting—
MR RATTENBURY: Fourteen seconds. Given the changed circumstances in this Assembly, in a discussion I had with the Chief Minister, I indicated that my preference—and I thought it was the most appropriate way to respond—was that I thought it was quite clear that I should be able to put a Greens perspective on the budget. I felt the best way to do that was to speak only in the in-principle debate. It was not my intent to participate in the detail stage from a crossbench perspective, but rather just speak as the responsible minister for those areas for which I have portfolio responsibility in the detail stage.
What it means is that I intend to have one speaking spot for the in-principle stage and not exercise the very extensive opportunities I have to speak in the detail stage. So if members want to play it that way, I will take all those other times as well, but I think that this is a cleaner, clearer way to do it and one that I think, frankly, carries a level of practicality to it that seems sensible.
Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.