Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 10 February 2015) . . Page.. 11 ..
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (10.30): I appreciate the confected urgency from those opposite in relation to this motion this morning. The government does not support a suspension of standing orders at this time. We have said very clearly there are two important matters to be dealt with first this morning: the first, obviously, is the swearing in of our fantastic new member, Meegan Fitzharris, and the second is for our new Chief Minister to speak on the government’s agenda for the year. Following those two items, we have indicated to the opposition that if they want to rehash the same script from the beginning of the sitting last year—which is what they are endeavouring to do with the confected urgency of a motion that is all too familiar and mundane—then they can do so. They can do so after the Chief Minister has outlined the government’s agenda and program for the year.
Mr Hanson knows that; those opposite know that. Instead, they are wasting our time with this procedural motion this morning. Let us get on with the business of this government’s agenda, the Chief Minister’s agenda for the coming 12 months, then we can deal with the confected urgency of this motion that they wish to put forward.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.31): Madam Speaker, Mr Corbell knows exactly what is going on here, and so does Mr Rattenbury, who is supporting what the government is trying to do. A vote of no confidence is as serious as it gets. There is perhaps nothing more important in this place, other than the swearing in of a new member. The opposition have acknowledged that and we have allowed Ms Fitzharris to be sworn in and make her maiden speech. We have acted with good grace in allowing that to occur, as is right and proper.
To suggest that a vote of no confidence in a minister should be put aside because of a routine ministerial statement, the sort of statement that would normally be delivered routinely in the course of a day, is a nonsense. This is not a speech that could not be made by Andrew Barr at any other time. This is not a speech that is of such import that it should come before the most serious matter of business that should be before this Assembly, which is a vote of no confidence in one of his ministers. Simon Corbell knows that; Andrew Barr knows that; Shane Rattenbury knows that.
I understand why Labor as a team would want to rally round and protect their underperforming minister. I understand why they would want to do anything to cover up the failings and maladministration of Joy Burch. I understand why they would do that. But Shane Rattenbury is a former Speaker of this place. He knows the form of this place; he knows the history of this place. Today he is saying, “I put my Labor mates in front of what is right for this place and what is right for the community,” and that is very disappointing. Again what we see from Shane Rattenbury is a preparedness to do a backflip on the precedents of this place and a backflip on all of his previous statements in order to lock in his support with his Labor mates. It is no wonder so many sections of the Greens party are wondering whether Shane Rattenbury is still a member of the Greens or is simply locked into this Labor government and is doing what is right for Shane Rattenbury and not what is right for this Assembly and this community.