Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 October 2017) . . Page.. 4393 ..
MR WALL (Brindabella) (6.28): I move:
That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Mr Wall from moving a motion to amend the sitting pattern.
We need to suspend standing orders so I can move a motion currently being circulated in my name which seeks to amend the Assembly’s resolution of 15 December from 2016 relating to the sitting pattern for this year, meeting with the convention of this Assembly, which would give seven clear days for members to consider the no-confidence motion in the Chief Minister.
A no-confidence motion in the Chief Minister is the most serious and heavily weighted motion this Assembly can consider; such a motion regarding the Chief Minister traditionally has seen a suspension of the Assembly for seven days with no business being conducted until that motion comes back on the seventh day for consideration with precedence.
That occurred in 2012 when Mr Seselja moved a motion against Chief Minister Gallagher; again in 2008 when opposition leader Mr Seselja moved a no-confidence motion against then Chief Minister Mr Stanhope; in 2007 when Mr Stefaniak moved a motion against then Chief Minister Mr Stanhope; Mr Smyth’s motion in 2004 against Mr Stanhope; and likewise, when the roles were reversed when Labor was on the opposition benches in 2000 and Mr Stanhope moved a no-confidence motion in Ms Carnell; and in 1999 when Mr Stanhope moved two motions of no confidence in then Chief Minister Ms Carnell.
The last occasion that a government sought to circumvent the importance and the gravity of a no-confidence motion in the Chief Minister was in 1999 when the Liberals were in government, and it was those on the opposite side then—the Labor Party—who squealed and kicked up a stink. Appropriately, at the end of the day, with the support of the crossbench, the Assembly suspended for seven days to allow proper consideration of this motion.
This motion is not a farcical or whimsical no-confidence motion; this motion is a severe claim of no confidence in the Chief Minister, that is, that the Assembly has lost confidence in Mr Barr due to the government’s engagement in corrupt decisions. It has been well litigated by the opposition in this place and through the media that this government has engaged repeatedly in a number of corrupt deals. Sadly, under Mr Barr’s leadership, Canberra is becoming the corrupt capital, and it is important that this Assembly give that motion the consideration it deserves by suspending the following days’ sittings and not returning until next Thursday—then the seventh day—to consider this motion, in line with the self-government act.
That has been convention in the modern era of this parliament. These motions are not moved flippantly. This is the first time a motion of no confidence in the Chief Minister has been moved since mid-2012. It is not done flippantly; it is not done