Page 3559 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 12 September 2017

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back,” that is fine, but, quite frankly, ministers should be doing members the courtesy of saying, “I can’t answer your question on time, for these reasons.” Then we would not need this standing order to be operated as frequently as it is operated in this place. I commend the motion that we take note that the minister has not answered the question.

Then we go on to the stuff about the Chief Minister saying, “Oh, this is terrible. You are asking us too many questions.”

Government member interjecting—

MRS DUNNE: We are doing our job. We are doing our job on behalf of the people of the ACT. It is important to know about the flu season and about the Medihotel. It is important to know about the number of beds. The people of the ACT are entitled to know the answers to these questions. It is not sufficient for the government to say, “It’s inconvenient for us to answer the questions.” This is the cost of democracy. This is the cost of open government.

Mr Barr: I have not contested that.

MRS DUNNE: You are contesting it. If he did not think it was a problem, the Chief Minister would not have got to his feet and whinged about it. That is what he did. He whinged about the audacity of the opposition in asking questions.

Question resolved in the negative.

Questions 368 and 371

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra): In relation to standing order 118A—the minister has already anticipated this, but I want to put it on the record—I want to mention questions on notice 368, in relation to development in Kinleyside Street, and 371, in relation to development in Smith Street, both in Weetangera. Ironically, questions were put on notice because of the failure of the minister to answer correspondence. I would like an explanation as to why they were not answered in the time frame set out in the standing orders.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal): I did give a detailed explanation, particularly on 371, about the length of time required to prepare the answer to Mrs Dunne, to ensure, as I said, that it is in response to her questions, with the history and the correspondence from my office to her office. I understand that my office has been in touch with Mrs Dunne and advised that we are preparing it, so I am quite surprised that she has come in today with this motion. With regard to the Smith Street, Weetangera, one, my understanding is that the address in the response from the directorate was incorrect and we needed to amend that address to ensure that the response was correct for Mrs Dunne.

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