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Constitutional crisis looming for the ACT?

By johnboy - 17 June 2009 14

Katy Gallagher has issued a furious media release on veiled threats by Zed Seselja that passage of the ACT Government’s budget would be conditional on the Government’s response to the estimate’s report.

    Mr Seselja told the Assembly, it was interesting that “there is no recommendation to actually pass the Budget” and when the Treasurer asked whether he was threatening to not pass the Budget, Mr Seselja responded that it would depend on the Government’s response saying, “we look forward to your response. That is important”.

    “It’s disgraceful that the Liberals are playing politics with the Budget at a time when the national economy is facing the biggest slowdown in decades and businesses need certainty from governments.

Zed’s media release on the report is available.

You can read the recommendations in the report and there are some hum-dingers in there restricting the ability of the Government to spend money on behalf of the Labor Party.

All eyes now turn to the Greens and whether they will insist on the report recommendations. If the budget can’t be passed it might just force a Commonwealth takeover of the ACT.

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Constitutional crisis looming for the ACT?
MrMagoo 4:58 pm 17 Jun 09

my years in the PS have shown me that whilst in opposition Parties tend not to ask the questions that ‘should’ be asked, or they ask the questions in such a way as to illicit the kind of responses we see here. I’m yet to understand exactly why but it happens a lot.

housebound 3:57 pm 17 Jun 09

MrMagoo said :

… The Govt treated it contemptuously to say the least and I personally feel that the opp. don’t ask the ‘right’ questions.

That thought had crossed my mind, but I hadn’t read the transcripts to be confident.

deezagood 3:38 pm 17 Jun 09

Another day, another debacle.

MrMagoo 3:37 pm 17 Jun 09

housebound said :

But it won’t be if the Greens vote with Labor to pass the budget, no matter what. It means estimates was a complete waste of time and tazpayers’ money.

As opposed to what exactly? The Govt treated it contemptuously to say the least and I personally feel that the opp. don’t ask the ‘right’ questions.

housebound 3:03 pm 17 Jun 09

But it won’t be if the Greens vote with Labor to pass the budget, no matter what. It means estimates was a complete waste of time and tazpayers’ money.

poptop 2:57 pm 17 Jun 09

I would think that these volatile financial times are EXACTLY when things like the ACT Budget should be subject to extra scrutiny.

MrMagoo 2:07 pm 17 Jun 09

Yep if the Greens are voting for it, then the Liberals ‘we won’t unless you do’ means nothing. KG has leapt up and down for no reason but for a bit of us vs them. Having said that, there’s no doubt that this is a deliberate act of the Canberra Liberalst o destabilise the Treasurer.

jackal 12:14 pm 17 Jun 09

The Greens have already said they will pass it (Greens + Labor is enough) so it’s not an issue.

p1 12:08 pm 17 Jun 09

If the budget can’t be passed it might just force a Commonwealth takeover of the ACT.

I eagerly await the tanks rolling down Northborne Ave…

jimbocool 12:02 pm 17 Jun 09

Technically speaking what happens to the ‘budget’ is irrelevant, it’s just a bunch of papers – what matters is what happens with the appropriation bill. If the bill is blocked the government has enough flexibility within the Financial Managment Act to get by until the end of December – then it runs out of money. Plenty of time to do a deal. However, even if the Libs do vote against the bill, the Greens won’t as they’ve pledged to support the government on appropriation bills and no-confidence motions.

That said, it would still be possible to block or amend individual lines of the bill as housebound suggests.

trevar 12:02 pm 17 Jun 09

I hardly think refusing to say whether the Libs intend to vote in favour of the budget or not until the Labor party has responded to the Estimates Committee’s refusal to recommend it is ‘playing politics’.

If the response from Katy is to jump up and down and throw a hissy fit instead of responding, then she can hardly blame the other parties for blocking the budget…

Spectra 11:51 am 17 Jun 09

If the budget can’t be passed it might just force a Commonwealth takeover of the ACT.

I think maybe we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves here. Yes, everything you say is true, but it’s the most extreme scenario. I think more likely this is just the latest round of the petty posturing and gamesmanship that our assembly does so well.

housebound 11:50 am 17 Jun 09

Our guys usually seem to block or not block. I’ve often wondered why, in a small assembly, oppositions/cross benches don’t tweak the budget any more – eg like the Greens blocked Carnell’s proposed sale of ACTEW in the late 1990s. Or you could choose more recent examples from the Feds (but with less merit).

I guess the games are just about to start.

caf 11:50 am 17 Jun 09

A Consitutional Crisis without a Constitution? How curious.

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