Page 3455 - Week 11 - Thursday, 19 September 2013
Therefore, the government believes it is premature to consider this bill at this time. The government has been actively participating in national reforms on this issue. It is expected there will be an agreed position this year. It is important that motorists, no matter where they drive within Australia, particularly in a place like the ACT and its close proximity to New South Wales, are presented with fuel pricing information in a consistent manner. The national approach being developed is evidence based, and it is being done in consultation with motorists and industry. This will ensure that ACT motorists get the best result the first time.
Proceeding with this bill now may actually see the ACT implementing requirements that are less stringent than those that may be adopted nationally. It is vital that this Assembly does not confuse motorists, or impose unnecessary costs on business, by bringing in a framework now that will only have to be changed or amended in a matter of months. Therefore, the government will not be able to support this bill today.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.09): I rise to speak to this bill. I will do so in two parts. I will first give the opposition’s view of this legislation. But then I am going to go to a broader point about the problematic status of having somebody bringing forward legislation sometimes as a minister, sometimes as a cross-bencher, and the opposition’s evolving response to that based on the way that we have seen that play out in this place.
With regard to the specifics of this piece of legislation, I am broadly in agreement with what Mr Corbell has outlined. It is premature. It is broadly unnecessary but my overarching concern is that what has emerged in this place is a situation where Mr Rattenbury is bringing forward legislation sometimes as a minister through the right processes and sometimes as a Green crossbencher. He is trying essentially to be all things to all men—have his cake and eat it.
As a result, what we are seeing is this sort of ad hoc approach to legislation and to motions. We are seeing that with this piece of legislation today. We are certainly seeing it in relation to the AD(JR) bill that we are going to be talking about. A lot of this legislation that has been pushed through by Mr Rattenbury is ill-considered, ill-conceived. We will be adjourning or have adjourned—I am not quite sure; I was out of the chamber—the two pieces of Assembly business because they are poorly conceived and poorly written.
I and the opposition have reached a point where we simply are not going accept this pretence that Mr Rattenbury can be a government minister one minute and a Greens crossbencher the next. It is not workable. Ultimately this is something that has arisen from the Greens-Labor parliamentary agreement. That was the price of government. It was one of the costs of government that the Labor Party paid. But I am not a signatory to that agreement. I do not recognise that agreement. As far as I am concerned, there is a Greens-Labor coalition government and we are not going to accept a position here where we have not only to deal with a Greens-Labor coalition government but also the Greens as a separate entity. It is entirely unworkable.