ACT QT: Shane Rattenbury, kindergarten cop?

“The Opposition are playing tricky games, reminds me of kindergarten,” The Chief said. “[they’re saying] We’ll ask the wrong minister, we’ll trick her.” Question Time at the Legislative Assembly. If Jon Stanhope is right that […]

“The Opposition are playing tricky games, reminds me of kindergarten,” The Chief said.

“[they’re saying] We’ll ask the wrong minister, we’ll trick her.”

Question Time at the Legislative Assembly. If Jon Stanhope is right that makes Speaker Shane Rattenbury kindergarten cop. And he’s in a nasty mood today, so watch out.

Liberal MLA Alistair Coe had asked Treasurer Katy Gallagher the question, about the Budget’s 30% increase in parking fees.

“Not my portfolio,” Gallagher said flatly.

“How much will this cost families from the outer suburbs who drive to work?” Opposition Leader Zed Seselja asked.

Gallagher pointed to the Sustainable Transport Action Plan and the relevant minister, Stanhope.

It could have been this morning’s failed censure motion on elective surgery waiting lists – now there’s 10 minutes of discussion on ingrown toenails I never thought I’d hear – or the Speaker’s flu, but there was a bit of an edge in #ACTQT today.

Although the Liberal boys weren’t brawling more than usual, Mr Speaker reprimanded them on more than one occasion and threatening Labor whip John Hargreaves with a “stronger ruling” if he didn’t stop asking questions that were clearly out of order.

The members of the Assembly perused such topics as:

  • The Change of Use Charge

“Your party supported this!” Gallagher told the Liberals.

“This is your mining tax, Katy!” Coe told Gallagher.

  • The NSW State Government’s Budget for 2010-11 (Ahem, yes. They talked about another jurisdiction’s budget.)

“They did pick up a billion dollars in Commonwealth grants,” Gallagher said.

“We certainly would have liked that benefit.”

“There hasn’t been any weeping in the streets over the [ACT] Budget.”

  • Feed in Tariff Contracts with ACTEW AGL

Energy Minister Simon Corbell was not aware.

  • Random Roadside Drug Testing “Hanson-Bresnan” Legislation

The Chief is not happy.

“The legislation the Liberals and the Greens are passing tomorrow have fundamental concerns.

“ACT Policing believe prosecutions that proceed on behalf of the Hanson-Bresnan Bill will fail.”

Then the Chief did something unexpected. He did a stunt.

Jon Stanhope as a politician can have quite a good sense of humour, take today for example where he told former CityNews reporter Jorian Gardner (now at WIN TV) not to verbal him during a press conference. But the man does not do stunts. Not for photographers, cameramen or journos. Not ever.

And today he brought out a piece of paper half filled with type and waved it around, crowing at the Greens and the Liberals. The whole random roadside drug testing thing is clearly pushing the man over the edge.

The Greens next question didn’t improve matters, questioning the sale of blocks of land in Wright and Coombs when ACTPLA have yet to finish negotiating block selection and numbers.

The Chief didn’t really have an explanation for why people were being allowed to bid on land when they couldn’t be sure of exactly what they were getting.

Thankfully Jeremy Hanson reliably brought attention back to bullying issues with ACT Health, before his colleague Steve Doszpot questioned funding the Department of Environment before it had finalised its own budget.

“Rest assured you can go home to watch the World Cup tonight, everything is in order,” Gallagher told Doszpot.

Vicki Dunne questioned Minister for Children Joy Burch over childcare places, pointing out that relocating childcare places was not the same thing as creating new ones. Dunne lost it again over procedure and apologies in her endless battle with Rattenbury over standing order process.

And finally Labor backbencher Mary Porter hit Corbell with some Dorothy Dixers about recruiting for ACT ambulances.

Andrew Barr walked out shaking his head. No one asked him any questions.

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