Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 14 September 2017) . . Page.. 3751 ..
I am open to considering this if the opposition actually want to be constructive on this matter. So far all they have sought to do is whip up fear, not listen to experts, and pull stunts like this. If they would like to deal with this constructively rather than asking for it at about 10 past 3, towards the end of the day, I am very open to listening. I am very open to that. I would like to move that we adjourn debate on this motion, and I will come back to this place on the first sitting day of next week with a response.
MADAM SPEAKER: You cannot. You cannot adjourn it, Ms Fitzharris. Have you concluded? You have. The question is that the motion be agreed to.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (3.38): I thank Ms Lawder for bringing this matter forward, and I also want to speak on why it is important to suspend standing orders. The minister has talked about stunts and a whole lot of things like this. What we are looking for is transparency. The minister says, “I have been very open.” If the minister was being absolutely open, she would have tabled this report when the issue of cladding first became an issue, but that has not been the case. There has been a lot of questioning about the cladding. The minister’s response has been, “Believe me, and believe what I am telling you other people have told us.” It is not sufficient for the people of the ACT for the government to just say to trust the minister, to trust that she is telling us everything that she has been told by officials.
That is why Ms Lawder has attempted to have the report tabled here today. If the minister were so open to this, the government would have allowed leave and it would have been unnecessary to have a 15-minute debate on the suspension of standing orders. If the government were open to this they could have given leave. In the course of the debate on the substantive motion, if the minister was uncertain she could have said, “Well, give me another time or give me until next week.” We could have suspended it till next week. But we did not get to that point, because leave was not given. Now Ms Lawder has to move for the suspension of standing orders to move that the debate proceed. You could have saved a whole lot of time if you had just given leave.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (3.40): Having just heard Mrs Dunne’s and Ms Lawder’s contributions, there is no case to suspend standing orders. If an outbreak of cooperation might proceed from this point, I make a few suggestions to members. Dropping in motions like this with no notice, when you have other forms of this place to use in a sitting fortnight, including private members’ business, is not the appropriate form. It is open to Ms Lawder, having given and lodged an undated notice of motion, to move this in private members’ business next week. If she was so keen and the matter was so urgent that the information had to be provided today, as opposed to when the Assembly could have time to consider her motion, she could have approached the minister beforehand and sought agreement either to have a conversation in relation to the specific document or at least agreement in this place on how we would deal with the matter.
The government is very clear in relation to how we will approach these matters. Pulling stunts such as seeking to suspend standing orders and seeking to drop in